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Crystal ball gazing

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The PwC Health Research Institute1 aims to provide ‘intelligence, perspective and analysis on trends affecting health related industries’. Each year they look forward to what they consider to be the main issues to be faced in the coming year. While they are focused on issues in the USA, there are trends which we would do well to take note of. These possible trends also raise questions about the way we run our pharmacy services. The trends are helpfully described in Healthcare IT News.2

The report3 looking into 2018 highlights 12 trends and six of these are worth considering.

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1. ‘Meet your co-worker—Artificial intelligence (AI)’

Increasingly, AI is appearing in hospital pharmacies in the form of robotics for pack dispensing but also in cytotoxic and intravenous additive preparations. PwC predicts a trend where more tasks will be automated such as routine paperwork and scheduling. However, 75% of executives said they planned to move in this direction but …

Correspondence to Professor Phil Wiffen, Pain Research Unit, Churchill Hospital, Oxford OX3 7LE, UK; phil.wiffen{at}ndcn.ox.ac.uk

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