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Aug 31, 2017,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Connected health: Apps to make pharmacists' lives a lot simpler

With the advent of connected health, developers have been working on smartphone apps for customers of pharmacies. The three main existing platforms can transmit prescriptions to chemists digitally, but also provide functions to help users on a day-to-day basis.

 

Among the numerous digital apps that are now becoming ever more prevalent on our smartphones with the boom in the connected health sector, there are ones that are specifically dedicated to making interaction and dealings between pharmacists and customers simpler. For example, there are some applications that make it possible for users to locate the nearest open chemist, while others even organise delivery of the prescription medication.


Prescriptions sent directly to the chemist 


According to Top Santé, the latter type of platform is based on the ʺscan and collectʺ principle. Once the prescriptions have been downloaded, the user merely needs to photograph them with a smartphone or tablet and send them to a pharmacy, which of course has to be equipped for this type of service. 
The prescription transmission service is available 24 hours a day, and the account is secured by a password. The pharmacist then prepares the order and alerts the customer when the medicine is ready to be collected. 


Notification when the order is complete and ready


Depending on the pharmacy, there can of course be a queue when the customer comes for the pick-up, but the products are readied in advance, which saves a significant amount of time. This is particularly the case for items that are out of stock and have to be ordered, since the customer only comes in to get the product once it has been delivered. The only requirements for this system are having an Internet connection, and then producing the original prescriptions when you go to the pharmacy.


Ma Pharmacie Mobile is the most popular platform in France, with around 10,000 chemists using it. As well as showing the nearest police station or all-night chemist, the app also has a function which can inform the pharmacist of any side effects after taking the medicine. If necessary, the pharmacist can then inform the local pharmacovigilance centre.


On-line pill scheduler and discussion forum


The Doctipharma app meanwhile is compatible with around 2,200 pharmacies and offers an on-line pill scheduler which helps patients to follow courses of treatment without getting the frequency or dosage wrong. The programme also has a communication zone between the pharmacist and the customer, allowing the latter to ask questions about the medicines and their availability.


Then there is Pharmao, which is used by around a thousand chemists and has similar functions to its competitors. What marks it out from the crowd is its geo-tracker which can send special offers from pharmacies near to the user’s location, either when they are at home or out and about.

 

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