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Restocking Apteekki [App-Tech-iŋ]

Restocking Apteekki [App-Tech-iŋ]

In Finland we are discussing the future of pharmacies with the emphasis on who can have the license to sell drugs. While on it, we might as well discuss what we mean by pharmacy anyway.

The English word pharmacy, or a drug store, directs us to think of mainly pharmaceutical products. As the holistic healthcare has come here to stay, it’s good to be reminded that prescripted technical devices and apps are part of the deal too, and will increasingly be part of the home-care mix.

Yesterday on Watson Helsinki Summit stage Matthew Diamond, Chief Medical Officer of Nokia was sharing the positive experience across the seas how medical tech bars serve patients with tools that have been prescribed by doctors. This is what I would love to see in Finland too, systematically and nation-wide; the same unified prescription system, KELA-processing, recognition for medical tools side-by-side the pills. Updated pharmacy model for the rest of the world to look up to.

Imagine your grandmother preparing for a hip surgery, or having just gone through one. Just as she will have a prescription to stronger pain killers or a combo of other medicine, the doctors (up their game) will also prescribe tools such as the ones provided by BuddyHealthcare, or KaikuHealth. With prescription medicine you are used to having someone to walk you through the doze and other practicalities on drug-take. Similarly, we should have a designated place where professionals walk you through the app download, or other functions of a technical health device.

Drug stores are the places where we are accustomed to go to pick up the needed self-care. It is only a natural continuum that the same place serves us as a help-desk for health items beyond the pill. If we can visualise the tech shelves next to our vitamins and band aids, we can make them happen too.

For the sake of argument one might ask, where do you draw the line with all the gadgets and apps not really medically tested or prescribed by doctors; whose innovation makes it to our upgraded new Apteekki? No worries! The line is there already. Everyone knows the cosmetics sold at drug stores are not really for health care. If there is a tech tool supporting your positive habit to take care of your health, doesn’t it deserve to be at least next to eyeliner for sensitive skin?

The word itself, apteekki, has the future ingredients embedded:  [App-Tech-in]!

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