Thursday, November 17, 2016

AMS 8 Maker Students take on PANTHERx Project

On Wednesday, November 16, students from the 8th grade met with Jonathan Ogurchak of Panther Specialty Pharmacy to learn more about a project involving Avonworth and Blackhawk Middle Schools.

Students learned about the role of a specialty pharmacy and the requirement of a close relationship among patients, doctors and the pharmacists. The students were introduced to a specific drug, Strensiq, which requires strict monitoring due to temperature constraints and costs. Strensiq is used to combat a specific genetic, enzymatic deficiency in bone production. The students learned about the special “smart” refrigerators needed to store the expensive supply of medication.

The project has students looking at how technology could improve the relationship and communication between the patients and their caregivers. Students were asked if they could think of ways that the “smart” refrigerator could be modified to better aid PANTHERx in their mission to serve patients with chronic diseases. The product to be created by the students will explain the features that could be used in the next iteration of the "smart refrigerator."

Jonathan Ogurchak describes the condition perinatal/infantile and juvenile-onset hypophosphatasia to Avonworth students. This is the disorder that Strensiq, an enzyme replacement, is prescribed to patients to form and maintain bone. The cost of the medication is extreme, which requires the pharmacy to closely track and monitor dosages.

Students interact with the features currently used on the "smart" refrigerator 2.0. The students got a chance to review all of the features of this new technology. 

The "smart" refrigerator uses technology such as RFID tagging and wireless communication to connect the refrigerator in patient's homes to the pharmacy. 
Students consider options that could be added to the "smart" refrigerator 3.0 to improve the communication between patients, doctors, and PANTHERx.