Faculty of Pharmacy, Thammasat University has been attempting to upgrade the role of pharmacists in respondence to the precision medicine under the progress of project-based learning, integration of knowledge in various fields and skills necessary to work for the new generation, and ready to foster Thai pharmacists in the era of disruption.
Recently, a team of students which consisted of Ms. Yongthida Sawaengsook, Ms. Nattakritta Krongtaew, Mr. Sarat Thirasut and Mr. Thanakrit Sojayya, with Dr. Sujin Nithatpakorn, PharmD. as an advisor have invented innovative development and marketing plan, “ELDARBAND”, an innovation to prevent falls and detect falls in the elderly which won national award from the Marketing Plan Contest of the Marketing Pharmacists Association Thailand (MPAT) or MPAT Award: Start-Up Pharma organized by the Pharmacy Education Consortium of Thailand (PECT) and the Marketing Pharmacists Association (Thailand).
Tongta- Ms. Yongthida Sawaengsook, 5th year student, Faculty of Pharmacy, Thammasat University reveals that ‘falling’ is the second leading cause of death among the elderly. Most often have underlying disease, having to take a lot of drugs which is one of the risk factors that can cause the elderly to fall. Therefore, the idea was to create and develop the innovation, “ELDARBAND” that will resolve the problem of caring for the elderly who are alone safely and receive timely assistance by combining pharmaceutical knowledge with technology to develop such innovation.
Product development plans are designed to be easy to use, only wearing the ELDARBAND on the wrist. If the elderly suddenly move abnormally, the device will notify with vibration and sound, and will be sending GPS information, including specific information needed for treatment immediately to nearby hospitals and if there is an error in the notification, users can press to cancel. There is also a button to directly contact the healthcare doctor.
“This product will be the only smart band with ‘before falling’ protection function by detecting the health status of the elderly including heart rate, blood pressure, sugar level, blood oxygen level, and body and skin temperature. If the user is at risk of falling, ELDARBAND will immediately alert the app to forward health data to the doctor in case of unforeseen circumstance. It also helps detect health problems. For example, detecting drugs that have side effects of drowsiness and dizziness, etc.,” said Ms. Yongthida.
Ikkyu – Mr. Sarat Thirasut, 5th year student, Faculty of Pharmacy, Thammasat University said that ELDARBAND will benefit society and the economy. Studies have shown that one fall in an elderly results in damage of 1.2 million baht per person/year. Falling doesn’t only cause injury, but the quality of life of the elderly will change, possibly unable to return to walking or a normal living which affects family members as well. Innovation concept and the marketing plan of ELDARBAND, therefore aims to fill the gap, from preventing falling in the elderly to saving the government’s budget for patient care. Hopefully, the development for ELDARBAND is achievable as it will be another creative force from the new generation that provides Thai elderly better health and comfort.
“Pharmacists in the disruption era are required to have skills that enable them to predict and analyze trends in all aspects. I have been studying at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Thammasat University for 5 years, and every day is a challenge and learning which expands the horizons of a new generation of pharmacists that is not only limited to learning about drugs but able to integrate knowledge of academics, technology, marketing, business administration including the legal aspect to further develop health-tech, brands, pharmaceutical and health manufacturing industries. I believe that the role of pharmacists in the new era will integrate more technology to develop innovations by combining with medication. Today, we have to look forward as we already have elderly of over 20% of the population already,” said Mr. Sarat.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Arum Jesadayanametha, PharmD., Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy, Thammasat University said that the Faculty of Pharmacy, Thammasat University is striving towards changes of the pharmaceutical and health world in the disruption era, aiming to leverage the potential and enhance the role of pharmacists to benefit patients, public health and the Thai economy even more. Pharmacists are one of the multidisciplinary professions, working with drugs that have a significant impact on the treatment of patients alongside doctors, nurses, nutritionists and most importantly, we promote the use of pharmaceutical knowledge combined with technology to foster innovations in medicine and healthtech or medical devices in Thailand on the global stage.
Thai pharmacists have to transform themselves to become Global Pharmacists. Faculty of Pharmacy, Thammasat University, therefore, aims to nurture a new generation of pharmacists with the force of continuous learning, adaptability, and the ability to facilitate technology to develop value-added innovations on the global stage and resolving health problems in the future to help Thai people and people around the world to have a good quality of life.
In addition, “ELDARBAND” has entered the Thammasat University incubation program or TU 88 Sandbox, using the period of operation from February to December 2022 to incubate and develop innovative ideas into healthtech products that supports an aging society and can actually be brought to the market, enabling the elderly to live a confident and safe life.