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:

What is the best way to encourage innovation? Competitive pay may be the answer
Economists and business leaders agree that innovation is a major force behind economic growth, but many disagree on what is the best way to encourage workers to produce the 'think-outside-of-the-box' ideas that create newer and better products and services.
Innovation is widespread in rural areas, not just cities
Conventional measures of innovation suggest that only big cities foster new ideas, but a more comprehensive measure developed at Penn State shows that innovation is widespread even in rural places not typically thought of as innovative.
Scaling up search for analogies could be key to innovation
Investment in research is at an all-time high, yet the rate of scientific breakthroughs isn't setting any records.
Why you should be concerned about Oprah Winfrey when introducing an innovation
New research by Bocconi University's Paola Cillo and Gaia Rubera with Texas A&M's David Griffith asserts that the reaction of large individual investors to innovation is an important component of stock returns, their reaction to innovation depends on their national culture, and there is a way to segment large individual investors and pitch innovation to them accordingly.
Responsible innovation key to smart farming
Responsible innovation that considers the wider impacts on society is key to smart farming, according to academics at the University of East Anglia (UEA).
Pillars of academic innovation
Highlights from the Sixth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors, including high-tech solutions to combat child pornography and radicalization materials; groundbreaking programs to promote STEM major retention; and new materials for wearable technology.
Universities drive innovation in the classroom
The current issue of Technology and Innovation, Journal of the National Academy of Inventors ® (19.2) examines innovation from the university perspective, highlighting what the most innovative institutions and educators worldwide are doing to prepare future engineers and industry leaders to effectively manage IP to grow their companies and the global economy as a whole.
How universities are fostering innovation and entrepreneurship
Technology and Innovation 19.1 zeroes in on innovation and entrepreneurship, with a special focus on what universities are currently doing to foster growth in those areas both for their success and the success of the communities and regions to which they are connected.
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.
More Innovation News and Innovation Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at