Fun fact: An iPhone has more computing power than the entirety of NASA computers at the time of the initial Apollo missions1. That little screen most Americans hold in their pocket is faster and, in some ways, stronger than the computers that brought Neil Armstrong to the moon.
Technology at Light Speed
Technology is evolving every day and faster than ever. Think about the way we consume entertainment at home. VHS was introduced in the late 70s and lasted strongly into the early 2000s. Not too long after DVDs were born, then Blu-Ray, and now streaming is the primary way of watching movies2. Analyze almost any sort of technology around you and you will find that it seems to be changing at an exponential rate.
Because of the rate of innovation around us, sometimes it is very easy to feel as though you are falling behind. Few pharmacists will dispute that they still use fax machines as their primary means of communication with physicians – although every other industry has replaced fax with email or cloud sharing.
And if it isn’t the fax machines, it’s the computers. Many experts say that your PC can become obsolete in as little as 5 years. Slow internet connections and crashing computers become the least of the worries – outdated computers can compromise privacy and data security, which is a huge risk within the health care industry.
Moving Beyond Digital Storage
The way in which pharmacies operate has been changing almost as quickly as the technology around it. If we are using our systems merely to organize patient information, what opportunities are we missing out on?
Systems available today offer pharmacies the ability to not only store patient contact information, but proactively call and text them about refills. Tracking all the medications a patient consumes now means that you can provide a comprehensive Medicare plan analysis. Patients’ health records can be instantaneously analyzed to screen for any gaps in vaccination records. All these services help not only the patient, but the pharmacy as well. Technology like this is available today and constantly being improved. Are we using the technology at our fingertips in the most efficient manner? If an iPhone could theoretically run 1960s NASA, what could you do with all the technology that is sitting in your pharmacy?
- Grossman, D. (2017, March 14). The One Way Apollo Computers Still Beat the iPhone. Retrieved October 24, 2017, from http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/moon-mars/a25655/nasa-computer-iphone-comparison/
- (2014, December 15). A visual look at the evolution of everyday tech. Retrieved October 24, 2017, from http://mashable.com/2014/12/15/evolution-tech-brandspeak/#ykGAxnN8oiqu