February 25, 2024

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New Zealand: Pharmacy in the Digital Age

Script Sense, founded by Puneet Saini and Kieran Erasmuson, both MBA graduates of Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury (UC), along with Rijul Gupta, a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney, has achieved global acclaim by winning the Start-up of the Year Award 2024 from the UK business graduate associations. This award, announced in London, marks as a significant milestone for their initiative, providing international recognition just ahead of the anticipated release of their system later this month.

Image credits: canterbury.ac.nz

At the core of Script Sense’s mission is developing a cloud-based pharmacy management platform designed to address the critical issue of medicine-related errors in Aotearoa, New Zealand, which currently contributes to 2000 deaths annually.

The Medication Error Reporting Programme (MERP) is an online, national, voluntary, no-blame reporting system for medication errors in New Zealand. The platform leverages cutting-edge technologies, including cloud computing, process automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI), to enhance productivity and create a safer and more efficient healthcare experience.

The Script Sense aims to carve its niche by capturing a share of this market and significantly reducing preventable human errors related to medication. Puneet Saini, CEO of Script Sense, emphasises the alarming statistics: “The number of deaths from medicine-related errors in New Zealand is higher than our road toll. We believe we can make a dramatic dent in that number.”

The platform’s capabilities extend beyond addressing errors, aiming to streamline pharmacy operations by automating manual data entry and non-clinical tasks. This innovation has the potential to save more than 50% of administrative pharmacy labour hours, allowing pharmacists to redirect their focus towards patient care. Saini highlighted the transformative impact Script Sense aims to achieve, “There are a lot of inefficiencies and manual procedures in pharmacies, and having a machine doing some of those administrative tasks will free up pharmacists to spend more time with their patients.”

The Script Sense team, driven by Saini’s 15 years of experience in the pharmacy industry and Erasmuson’s extensive business background, secured substantial seed funding in early 2023 from investors who shared the vision of revolutionising pharmacy management. The recognition and support from these early investors have propelled Script Sense toward its goal of introducing a product that has the potential to reshape the landscape of pharmacy operations globally.

Reflecting on the role of the UC MBA programme in the venture’s development, Saini emphasised the invaluable toolkit of critical thinking business tools gained from the programme and the networking opportunities provided by student and alumni events.

The Script Sense team looks ahead to 2024 with optimism. They plan to expand into the Australian market by the year’s end. The journey of Script Sense exemplifies the transformative power of technology, innovation, and strategic business acumen in shaping the future of healthcare administration.

The decision to expand into the Australian market is a strategic move for Script Sense and a testament to their commitment to providing cutting-edge solutions to healthcare providers globally. The Australian healthcare landscape presents unique challenges and opportunities, and Script Sense aims to tailor their services to meet the specific needs of this market.

As part of its expansion strategy, Script Sense will collaborate with local healthcare professionals, regulatory bodies, and technology experts to ensure seamless integration and compliance with the Australian healthcare system. This collaborative approach reflects their understanding of the importance of local insights and expertise in delivering effective solutions.

The expansion into Australia also aligns with Script Sense’s broader vision of contributing to the global evolution of healthcare technology. They believe that this innovation’s success in Australia will serve as a model for further international expansion, ultimately positioning Script Sense as a key player in the global healthcare administration landscape.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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