The Craneware Group and Long Island University (LIU) Pharmacy Fellowship in Health Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are thrilled to share findings from the team’s third research project, presented at the 2022 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy’s Pharmacy Education Conference. This research project focused on exposing pharmacy students to health analytics and AI topics and is the result of a collaboration with co-investigators Drs. Janna Roitman and Mohammed Ghriga from LIU.
The importance of health analytics and AI
Health analytics, AI, and machine learning solutions are transforming healthcare practice. Exposure to healthcare analytics and AI in pharmacy education is constantly evolving. Our study aimed to introduce pharmacy students to innovative paradigms, using data analytics and AI-supported solutions, that are driving the future of pharmacy practice and patient-centered care. Our research asked the question: Do lectures and practical skills labs serve as useful methods for exposing pharmacy students to health analytics and AI topics?
In November 2021, LIU offered a series of lectures and practical skills lab sessions to third-year pharmacy students enrolled in a Healthcare Informatics course. One-hundred forty-six students attended the presentations and completed pre- and post-lecture surveys to help assess changes in knowledge. Students used a publicly available data set and data science platform (called Anaconda) to build a heart disease predictive model. By weighing how individual risk factors contribute to heart disease, students developed insights into personalized patient care interventions and outcomes. Subsequently, perception surveys captured students’ attitudes on the utility and benefits of AI.
Pre- vs post-knowledge survey performance showed an increase in knowledge from baseline. Based on post-lecture perception survey results, 73.4% of students reported an increased interest in the field of healthcare analytics and AI and 63.6% reported an interest in pursuing a career in these fields after pharmacy school. In addition:
- Most students (79%) indicated they could utilize AI in their professional careers
- 88.1% recognize AI benefits in improving medication safety
- 79% appreciate its role in revolutionizing the future of healthcare practice
- Most students found the project to be exciting and unique (70.2%) and relevant to the pharmacy profession (71.6%)
Our research presents an innovative approach to integrating health analytics and AI into pharmacy education. This project serves as a means for exposing students to innovative learning opportunities with health analytics and AI techniques and to explore their application to patient care.
With the success of this healthcare analytics and AI project, LIU is incorporating this experience as a part of the Healthcare Informatics didactic course to better prepare students for the digital transformation in pharmacy practice and patient-centered care.