Nav: Home

Big Data-driven method could save money, increase efficiency in pharmaceutical management

March 29, 2016

BINGHAMTON, NY - Researchers at Binghamton University and pharmacy solutions provider Innovation Associates have developed an optimized approach for determining prescribed medication associations within a high-volume pharmacy environment that could save money and time.

Automated pharmacies are facing extremely large demands of prescription orders, specifically at the central fill pharmacies that distribute drugs to retail pharmacies. With this rising demand, it is necessary to increase the throughput of prescriptions in automated pharmacies through improvements to the Robotic Prescription Dispensing System (RPDS). Many pharmacies ignore the hidden patterns and the knowledge that can be extracted from the stored transactional database.

Researchers Sang Won Yoon, assistant professor of systems science and industrial engineering at Binghamton University; Norma Khader, graduate student at Binghamton University and graduate research associate, Watson Institute for Systems Excellence (WISE); and Alecia Lashier, director of software systems engineering for Innovation Associates, extracted knowledge from a prescriptions transactional database to improve different strategies in pharmacy automation and management. The authors' research, which applies the technique for assigning optimal fulfillment locations for specific medications based on their frequency of association with other medications, shows substantial positive effects. For example, it demonstrates how the method reduces the overall processing cost of dispensing prescriptions, increases the throughput of the high-volume technology and process, and improves the management of the pharmacy's medication inventory.

"In this research, we applied big-data analytics to enhance the efficiency of pharmacy automation and management by finding different rules and patterns of subscribed medications," said Yoon. "Additionally, we can apply this research to both enhance pharmacy automation and management, and to help us understand patients' medication adherence and compliance issues in the future."

"The work published in this paper provides a great example of how industry and academia can work together to solve complex real-life challenges. Our partnership with Innovation, a leader in pharmacy automation, provides our graduate students and faculty with great opportunities to test some of their newly developed algorithms," said Mohammad Khasawneh, professor and chair of Systems Science and Industrial Engineering at Binghamton University, and associate director for the Watson Institute for Systems Excellence (BU WISE). He added, "In addition to accomplishing significant return on investment for our industry partners, collaborative efforts like this are indeed critical to our educational mission at the university."

To further highlight and encourage participation on this type of research, Innovation and BU WISE will hold a two-day symposium at Binghamton University on April 9-10, 2016. The symposium, "Exploring Successful Change Management for Pharmacy Operations," will leverage myriad proven industry methodologies and lessons, and relate them to pharmacy operations. Discussion will also consider a wide range of different objectives, approaches, priorities, technologies, and tools that will empower pharmacies to adapt to change and more effectively improve their operations.

The thesis paper, "Pharmacy Robotic Dispensing and Planogram Analysis Using Association Rule Mining with Prescription Data," has been published in Expert Systems With Applications (ESWA).
About Innovation

Innovation is the leading provider of Pharmacy Intelligence and pharmacy automation to the retail, hospital, government, and mail order pharmacy markets. Its PharmASSIST family of pharmacy automation and process optimization solutions enable all types of pharmacies to increase operational efficiency, enhance patient safety, and provide a higher quality of patient care. For more information, visit

Binghamton University

Related Innovation Articles:

Shaping the future of health innovation
Future advances in healthcare will be aided by a new £10 million facility -- the National Institute for Health Research Innovation Observatory based at Newcastle University, UK.
Building on the foundations of innovation
The new issue of Technology and Innovation has a special section on the 2016 NAI Conference, including articles on gender and bias in science, the history of the National Academy of Inventors, alternative rubber crops, and the next industrial revolution.
What is innovation, and how can we awaken its dormant traits and cultivate them?
While education may not be able to create innovative traits in individuals, education may improve the ability of individuals to utilize the traits they already possess.
LA BioMed's 4th Annual Innovation Showcase
The Innovation Showcase will be attended by over 300 entrepreneurs, investors, executives from biotech and pharma medical devices companies, legal experts, service providers, prominent scientists, and technology transfer personnel from premier academic institutions.
Accelerating low-carbon innovation through policy
Will innovative technologies contribute to mitigating climate change? Learn about the successes and failures of low-carbon technology and how policy instruments help and hinder technological innovation.
The next Horizon: Strategies to promote European competitiveness in innovation
EU-LIFE, the alliance of research centers in life sciences to support and strengthen European research excellence released today a statement with its recommendations for next framework program for Research & Innovation, FP9.
Can we put a price on healthcare innovation in cancer?
Is there evidence that the money spent on innovation 'for the cure' actually benefits cancer patients?
Alzheimer's treatment innovation pipeline is building
A new analysis of the Phase II Alzheimer's drug pipeline, conducted by ResearchersAgainstAlzheimer's, revealed 57 new Alzheimer's drugs.
Business investment in innovation pays off
Firms need to invest in innovation in order to create new technologies and move the economy forward, according to new research from the University of Houston.
Technology and innovation not driven by climate change
Middle Stone Age of southern Africa is a period of dramatic innovation in subsistence, cultural and technical practices.

Related Innovation Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...