1. Drug information storage and retrieval system • The drug information about pharmacological actions, adverse effects, toxicity, drug interactions etc. is necessary for pharmacist and this search has been simplified by the use of computers. • For retrieval of medical information international data banks are available, example includes: • Excerpta medial • MEDLARS • Bitnet • Biosis • Ama/net
2. Teaching and Training • The use of the World Wide Web in teaching becomes very beneficial when the capabilities of this new technology are utilized to create new teaching-learning techniques. • Interactive modules enables the delivery of the course content in an appealing format and the pharmacokinetic simulation exercises provided the students with learning experiences that cannot be duplicated by textbooks. • The development of multimedia computer simulations in clinical pharmacy has two important advantages: • It enables students to be exposed to clinical patient management earlier in the educational process. • It allows for the clinical training of large numbers of students outside of conventional clinical practice sites.
Since multimedia programs can incorporate pictures sounds even full-motion video realistic simulations of patient care are possible. • Students have the opportunity to move at their own pace choose their own direction through material and repeat material as often as desired. • Medical videos are available on the Internet.
3. Hospital and clinical pharmacy i. Maintenance of patient census, lists and patient billing • Computers are used in hospitals to maintain patient record database which is continually updated to reflect the current status of all patients. • The information stored include—name, age, sex, weight, height, allergies, physician, present diagnosis, other diseases, drugs prescribed and special notes. ii. Preparation of letters and labels. iii. For drug store maintenance purchase and inventory control in hospital pharmacy computers are very useful.
iv. The clinical pharmacist may use computer for therapeutic drug monitoring which is required in cases of drugs which have narrow therapeutic range. v. Computer programs are used to calculate drug dosage schedules to suit the individual patient. vi. Apart from this drug interactions may be screened using programs like MEDIPHOR Monitoring and Evaluation of Drug Interactions by Pharmacy Oriented Reporting and PADIS Pharmacy Automated Drug Interaction Screening.
4. Drug information center • All countries should provide this service independently or as part of a regional network. • The service should include collecting reviewing evaluating indexing and distributing information on drugs to health workers. • This allows access to clinical experience libraries research facilities • This allows access to clinical experience libraries research facilities and educational activities. • Drug and poisons information centres should be supported by government authorities. • They require clinically trained staff with access to specialist support. • In some cases drug information services can be provided in conjunction with toxicology services, pharmacovigilance programs etc.
WHO recognizes independent drug information centres as a core component of national programs to promote the rational use of drugs. • Pharmacists and other health care workers routinely provide drug information to the community. • Basic equipment required for a centre includes: Furniture • Basic equipment required for a centre includes: Furniture Communication medium Internet access Printer Photocopier Textbooks and electronic information resources. • WHO India Country Office in collaboration with the Karnataka State Pharmacy Council KSPC have established drug information centres in Haryana-Sirsa, Chhattisgarh-Raipur, Rajasthan-Jaipur, Assam-Dibrugarh and Goa-Panaji.
5. Computer-assisted drug design • The search for new effective and safe drugs has become increasing sophisticated and costly. • The process of drug discovery and development is a long tedious and difficult. • Occasionally new drugs are found by accident. • More frequently they are developed as a part of an organized effort to discover new ways to treat human disease but also to improve the quality of life. • In general the computer aided drug design technique has the ability to accomplish both these goals and to improve the efficiency of the process as well.
Example of some computer-assisted techniques used are a Computer-assisted drug design CADD b Computer-assisted molecular design CAMD c Computer-assisted molecular modeling CAMM • Some recent examples of CADD are: • Design of thymidylate synthetase inhibitor as anticancer agents. • Design of HIV protease inhibitors as antiviral agents. • Discovery of novel sweeteners using a sweet taste receptor model. • Computer graphics like crystallography, receptor mapping, molecular mechanics and dynamics, NMR, molecular docking, quantum mechanics, Structure Activity Relationship, QSAR etc., are widely used.
Computerized molecular modeling can provide scientists with information that are important for mechanistic design of drugs like • three-dimensional structure of molecules • chemical and physical characteristics of molecule • comparison of the structure of one molecule with other • visualization of complex formed between different molecules • prediction about how related molecules might look. • Molecular modeling programs like AMBER CHARMM and GROMACS are widely used. E.g. of softwares: Alchemy, Amber, ChemOffice, CS Chem Finder, ASP
6. Applied Biopharmaceutics • Pharmacokinetics is the study of the time course of drug and metabolite levels in different fluids tissues and excreta of the body. • Computer software programs now allow for the rapid solution of complicated pharmacokinetic equations and rapid modeling of pharmacokinetic processes. • Computers simplify tedious calculations. • In addition computer software is used for the development of experimental study designs statistical data treatment data manipulation graphical representation of data pharmacokinetic model simulation and projection or prediction of drug action.
Computer-aided pharmacokinetic /or pharmacodynamic methods are commonly applied to quantify the disposition and the pharmacological effects of the drug to explore exposure-response relationships and to predict safety and efficacy outcomes. • Examples pharmacokinetic softwares are PharMod, MacDope, ADAPT II, NONMEM ,SAAM30 and CONSAM, Boomer and MultiForte, Kinetics, PK Solutions.
A good pharmacokinetic program/software should: 1. Provide checks on age and weight lab values etc. 2. Check against standard kinetics values and warn of +/- standard deviations from the norm. 3. Have storage capability to view data whenever needed. 4. Allow appropriate equation flexibility for all ages. 5. Offer compatibility with numerous printers. 4. Be easy to learn and use. 6. Change parameters according to renal or liver function. 7. Feel right in your clinical judgement.
7. Pharmaceutical analysis • The applications of computers include data handling processing storing file search of display. • The results in analysis of drugs pesticides herbal extracts etc. are generated in graphical form as a spectrum containing number of peaks. • The computer compares the spectrum of given sample with spectrum of pure compound with the use of library systems available in the software of the analytical instruments HPLC, HPTLC, GLC, MS, IR etc.
8. Pharmaceutical manufacturing industry • The successful manufacturing requires knowledge and greater understanding of manufacturing processes product design methods and manufacturing system design methods. • There are many computer aids available for manufacturing bulk drugs and pharmaceutical products. • Computer Aided Manufacturing-CAM softwares are usually product oriented. • Spread sheet software has been found useful for material and energy balancing cost estimation and economic analysis. • The commercial flow sheet programs include COPE by Exxon, COPES by Du Pont, IPES by Union Carbide etc.
9. Bioinformatics • Bioinformatics is the combination of biology and information technology. • Bioinformatics is the comprehensive application of mathematics statistics bio-chemistry biophysics and computer algorithms to analyze biological data. • Essentially bioinformatics has following components: • The creation of databases allowing the storage and management of large biological data sets. • The development of algorithms and statistics to determine relationships among members of large data sets. • Everyday bioinformatics is done with sequence search programs like Blast sequence analysis; programs like the EMBOSS and Staden packages structure; prediction programs like Threader or PHD; molecular imaging/ modeling programs like RasMol and What If
10. Data mining: Knowledge-Discovery in Databases (KDD) • Knowledge-Discovery and Data Mining is the process of automatically searching large volumes of data for patterns using tools such as classification, association, rule mining, clustering etc. • Biopharmaceutical Industry in the world is profusely using lot of vital information retrieved from variety of data mining methodologies like: • Annotated databases of disease profiles. • Molecular pathways involved in dreadful human diseases. • Quantitative structure activity relationship QSAR. • Precise chemical structures of combinatorial libraries of compound. • Results of clinical trials of new molecules.
11. Neural networks in medicine • Artificial neural networks ANN is a important research area in medicine now-a-days. • At the moment the research is mostly on modeling parts of the human body and recognizing diseases from various scans e.g. cardiograms, CT scans, ultrasonic scans etc. • Neural networks are used experimentally to model the human cardiovascular system. • Diagnosis can be achieved by building a model of the cardiovascular system of an individual and comparing it with the real time physiological measurements taken from the patient.
12. e-Health • The use of electronic technologies for exchanges of communication interaction and decision-support regarding health is known as e- Health. • e-Health is a wide and fast-growing field. • It uses emerging technologies especially the Internet or telephones. • Example of a current telemedicine service is NIS Direct has been extended to provide advice services to the whole country. • Now traditional hospital are being replaced with nurse-run clinics. • The nurses talk to the patient collect all the information on a computer send this "electronic patient record" to a specialist. • Specialist views the record photographs X-rays ECGs or text uses his computer to send a report back to the nurse.
She can also use videoconference to discuss how to manage an injury. • Access to expertise regardless of where you live should help to ensure fair provision of services for all. • Access to good quality health information over the Internet digital TV and via multimedia kiosks will give us all an opportunity to maintain better health.