IMPLEMENTING TELEHEALTH APPROACHES TO PHARMACY PRACTICE.

Derek Stewart, PgCert, BSc, MSc, PhD, FRPharmS, FFRPS, Professor of Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, Robert Gordon University.UK

 

eHealth is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the ‘adoption of information and communication technologies in delivering health services’. Specific eHealth applications of telehealth and telemedicine are featuring more and more within national and international health policies. While telehealth is defined as the ‘use of telecommunication techniques for the purpose of providing telemedicine, medical education, telemedicine itself is defined as the ‘use of advanced telecommunication technologies to exchange health information and provide health care services across geographic, time, social and cultural barriers’. There are many systematic reviews which provide evidence of the adoption, use and effectiveness of both telemedicine and telehealth, particularly within geographically isolated populations.

The term ‘telepharmacy’ is emerging within both the academic literature and policy documents. There are many very similar definitions, such as, ‘the provision of pharmaceutical care through the use of telecommunications and information technologies to patients at a distance’. This presentation will focus on the different modes of telepharmacy, their application and the emerging evidence base.

Objectives:

  • to define the terms ‘eHealth’, ‘telehealth’, ‘telemedicine’ and ‘telepharmacy’
  • to describe the potential applications of telepharmacy
  • to discuss the emerging evidence base of the effectiveness of telepharmacy
  • to consider the advantages and disadvantages of telepharmacy within Oman