PA1 - Plenary session: New healthcare – The beginning

Auditorium 1

Organised by the FIP Programme Committee


Lars-Åke Söderlund, Apoteket AB, Sweden and Michael Ward, University of South Australia, Australia


Ubiquitous, mobile supercomputing. Intelligent robots. Self-driving cars. Neuro-technological brain enhancements. Genetic editing. The evidence of dramatic change is all around us and it’s happening at exponential speed. We are at the beginning of a revolution that is fundamentally changing the way we live, work and relate to one another.

Previous industrial revolutions liberated humankind from animal power, made mass production possible and brought digital capabilities to billions of people. This Fourth Industrial Revolution is, however, fundamentally different. It is characterized by a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human.

Linked to these shifts and disruptions we live in times of great promise and development. The fourth industrial revolution is a revolution we haven’t experienced before.

This revolution will affect us as citizens, the healthcare system and of course pharmacy as well. How can we together create a future that puts people and patients first, empowering them and constantly reminding ourselves that all these technologies, and the fourth industrial revolution are first and foremost tools made by people for people – and within healthcare and pharmacy with the aim to improve health outcomes.

A century ago, William Osler, a founding father of modern medicine, said, “Variability is the law of life, and as no two faces are the same, so… no two individuals react alike and behave alike under the abnormal conditions which we know as disease.”

Today, the coalescence of the sequencing of the human genome and accompanying technological developments as well as new tools that empower and emancipate patients allow them to be in full control of their care. The availability of new medicines and therapies will enable diseases to be treated or prevented in a more targeted manner, and while more data is generated through the IoT and novel testing tools. The patient will decide who they want to share their data with, thus breaking the traditional silos between healthcare providers. Some of these new tools will allow patients to be followed up from their homes instead of being treated in a hospital or visiting their GP or pharmacist. The patient will be in the driver’s seat.

The emergence of these technologies will raise many important questions. Will healthcare systems be equipped to bring targeted health solutions to disadvantaged groups in an equitable and timely fashion? Is the existing infrastructure, particularly data capabilities, able to accommodate these changes? How will healthcare professionals be connected to the patient and between themselves? To what extent will their job will be substituted by machines and algorithms? Are our societal and regulatory environments able to respond in a timely manner to these developments? Is our health workforce equipped for the continuing professional development and training required in a rapidly shifting technological landscape? Will pharmacy, as we know it, be able to cope with these faster and faster changes, and with new actors that are entering into the healthcare arena?



09:00 – 09:10 Introduction by the chairs

09:10 – 10:00
1. André Bédat Award Winner

10:00 – 10:50
2. Transforming health and universal health coverage
Dan Carucci, McCann Health, UK

10:50 – 11:40
3. Reflecting on the past, anticipating the future – Trust
Ron Piervincenzi, USP (US Pharmacopeia), USA

11:40 – 12:00 Q & A and conclusion by the chairs

Learning Objectives

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

1. Describe the impact the fourth industrial revolution is having on healthcare and the potential impact on the future

2. Identify how healthcare is being transformed

3. Describe pharmacy’s role in the fourth industrial revolution


Type of session: Knowledge-based