On the 28th of February 2019, the European pharmacy students’ association (EPSA), organized the third EPSA Annual Reception in Brussels, a policy event with the topic “Digitalization in healthcare and its challenges for the pharmaceutical profession” focusing on “Continuous professional development as a tool to foster e-health learning for patient centered care” at the European Parliament. The event was hosted by the MEP Lieve Wierinck, ALDE. This 10th edition of the EPSA Annual Reception was attended by 110 students and professionals.
MEP Lieve Wierinck opened the event by pointing out that the digital world brings many opportunities for the health systems’ sustainability and efficiency as well as for everyone involved in it. She stressed that challenges are arising thus, we must not forget the importance of patient centricity and we must not leave behind the importance of maintaining the humanization oft these solutions.
Expert panel from pharmaceutical associations, universities and the industry
The panel included six healthcare experts from pharmaceutical associations, universities and the industry. The representative of the European commission, Agnès Mathieu-Mendes, spoke about the implementation of FMD and e-prescriptions and the related upcoming challenges for the health system. Additionally the concept of cross-border exchange of patient data was mentioned to increase the effectivity of therapies across Europe. Valentina Ancona from MedTech Europe transferred those theoretical concepts into reality by connecting them to digital healthcare technologies, which were developed to improve the patients’ health and to save lives. To maximize the use of these technologies connecting them in the Internet of Things is crucial according to Sofia Couto Rocha, representing the start-up SkinSoul. The artificial intelligence makes it possible to move from caring for diseases to caring for people and prevention. As automation is one of the main requirements to implement the IoT, Andreas Gloess from BD Rowa presented digital solutions for patient centered communication and automation smart processes. The main improvement of using these technologies is that the pharmacists are able to refer back to their core competencies: Patientcare. Lillian Azzopardi, representing the European pharmacy faculties association, concluded that digitalization is able to build up a strong bond between pharmacists and patients but also lifelong learning is key to a successful health system. Therefore, Ema Paulino explained the concept of continuous professional development of the Portuguese Pharmaceutical Society to the nearly 110 young professionals in the auditorium. These presentations led to a lively discussion round in which the whole audience was able to participate.
The European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (EPSA) is a European association representing more than 100 000 pharmaceutical students aiming to “bring pharmacy, knowledge and students together” EPSA’s members are 45 pharmaceutical student associations across 37 European countries.