Korean J Clin Pharm.  2020 Dec;30(4):217-225. 10.24304/kjcp.2020.30.4.217.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Changes of Pharmacists’ Roles in the Future

  • 1College of Pharmacy, Pusan National University, Busan 46241, Republic of Korea


The fourth industrial revolution, with its characteristics of “hyper-connectivity”, “hyper-intelligence” and “automation”, is a hot topic worldwide. It will fundamentally change industry, economy, and business models through technological innovations, such as big data, cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and 3D printing. In particular, the development of highly advanced information technology (IT) and AI is expected to replace human roles, thereby changing employment and occupation prospects in the future. Based on this, some predict that the profession of the pharmacist will soon disappear. To counter this, pharmacists’ attention and efforts are required to seek innovative transformations in their functions by responding sensitively and promptly to changes of the fourth industrial revolution. It is also necessary to recognize the new roles of pharmacists and to develop the competencies to perform them. The fourth industrial revolution is an inevitable change of the times. At this time, we should take comprehensive and open perspectives on how the future society will change economically, culturally, and socially, and use it as an opportunity to shape the new future of pharmacists.


Fourth industrial revolution; pharmacist; future; healthcare
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