The World Health Organization (WHO) promotes health systems strengthening as a means of improving population health, especially in low- and middle-income countries. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals highlight the importance of investing in workforce development to improve population health and economic well-being. In relation to pharmaceuticals, health systems face challenges in terms of i) guaranteeing access to needed drugs, ii) rationalizing medicines use, and iii) avoiding harm from adverse events. There is a pressing need to better understand the relationships between technology and pharmacy practice when strengthening pharmaceutical care systems. In response, this paper examines ways in which harnessing new technologies can change pharmacy practice and strengthen pharmaceutical systems for the benefit of patients. The paper will present a conceptual framework as well as exploring case studies.
Keywords: e-prescribing; eHealth; electronic health records; health technologies; healthcare system; mHealth; technology-enabled pharmacy; telemedicine.