Mobile Health Around the Globe: Sweden – The Virtual Pharmacist

June 4, 2012
119 Views

                                                                                              Image

In recent times the market for over-the-counter drugs was demonopolized in Sweden. Suddenly, these medications could be bought outside of pharmacies – in supermarkets, gas stations and other retail locations where no medically trained personnel is available. This new situation gave birth to the idea of the Virtual Pharmacist. 

The service Virtual Pharmacist was designed to empower citizens. Providing self-care advice for more than 100 everyday ailments and symptoms, the Virtual Pharmacist allows people to take informed decisions in self-care. The Virtual Pharmacist consists of a combination of hardware and software that uses Artificial Intelligence. A user can ask any question in written language, and the Virtual Pharmacist will identify if self-care can be applied and help the user find the right treatment for everyday ailments and symptoms.

Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The service provides:

–       Discreet advice about everyday ailments to consumers 24/7

–       Quality assured information – the Virtual Pharmacist’s source of facts database is kept up-to-date by registered pharmacists

–       An innovative yet simple form of seeking advice about self-care

The Virtual Pharmacist is not intended to replace the advice of medically trained personnel, but acts as a Imagesupplement where there is no qualified person to ask. From our showcase Virtual Pharmacist on the web, we have learnt that a large proportion of users choose to ask questions about intimate problems, such as diarrhea, fungus infections or hemorrhoids.

The first pilot with the Virtual Pharmacist in retail shops is currently being deployed in Sweden. If successful, this has the potential to be rolled out in tens of thousands of retail shops in Europe – and become a natural part of how millions of citizens search for advice on self-care and health products in the near future.

The Virtual Pharmacist was a finalist in the  2012 European SME eHealth Competition which honors the best innovations within eHealth in Europe.

Image

If you want to try this out and ask the Virtual Pharmacist a question, please go here and pay her a visit.  However, the question must be in Swedish.

(editor’s note: I tried this and asked her a question that the author of this post, David Becedas, supplied me with: “min son är snuvig” (“my son has a runny nose”) and she answered!  I don’t speak Swedish so couldn’t understand the answer though….  But I think this is way cool and is a great example of artificial intelligence and mobile health that really increases patient access to care!)

To read other posts in this exclusive ongoing series, please visit the Mobile Health Around the Globe main page.

And if you have a Mobile Health Around the Globe story to tell, please email me at joan@socialmediatoday.com

 

You may be interested

Can Natural Remedies Like RediCalm Decrease Stress and Anxiety?
Wellness
2 views
Wellness
2 views

Can Natural Remedies Like RediCalm Decrease Stress and Anxiety?

Ryan Kh - August 16, 2017

According to research from the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the…

How to Alleviate Stress Related Insomnia
Specialties
400 views
Specialties
400 views

How to Alleviate Stress Related Insomnia

JohnHenning - August 15, 2017

Do you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep every night? You aren't alone. According to multiple studies, including one…

4 Hormones That Play a Critical Role in Your Well being
Wellness
437 views
Wellness
437 views

4 Hormones That Play a Critical Role in Your Well being

Erica - August 15, 2017

Hormonal health and wellbeing have received plenty of attention lately, both from the medical community as well as from health-conscious…