The digital pharmacy is the next big thing in the medical industry that embraces patients and customers.
Digital pharmacies provide services like telehealth consultation so that a patient doesn’t have to rush to the doctor on their own, home shipping services, and no stress of traveling to the pharmacy.
Moreover, digital pharmacies also provide mobile apps that let patients handle their drugs, refill subscriptions, schedule or track deliveries, etc.
It may not be shocking now that a digital pharmacy startup, Capsule, received $300 million in its new funding, bringing its worth to over $1 billion.
Since most digital pharmacy value chain startups frequently assist customers in comparing the drug price at various pharmacies and discovering discounts, the most common reason people use digital pharmacies is to save money on prescriptions.
Convenience is another common driver of user behavior since internet pharmacies enable users to avoid going to physical pharmacies and standing in long queues.
Digital Pharmacy Evolution: A New and Old Journey
The sale of pharmaceuticals to the general public has historically been a highly regulated sector. Historically, patients with prescriptions (often ones written on paper) had no choice but to go to a pharmacy.
According to Mckinsey & Company, “the $460 billion retail pharmacy sector is emerging as their customers’ pharmacy experiences demand that they reflect the rest of their retail experience, such as omnichannel, convenient, and home delivery at the center.”
Digital drugstores do many of the same functions as brick-and-mortar pharmacies. The digital pharmacy approach includes e-prescriptions linking doctors and pharmacies with e-commerce, giving customers authority.
Customers (patients) can upload their prescriptions to centralized databases and order fulfillment online (through the web or smartphone), either for home delivery or collection at a nearby pharmacy using click & collect.
Digital Pharmacy: Growing digital demand attracts investments
A recent article from Fierce Healthcare featured the investment of several firms in the digital pharmacy industry, rapidly harvesting the e-medicine market.
Medly Pharmacy banked $100 million in Series B financing. Since its 2017 launch, the business has gained revenue by 100%. They can grow outside of their existing region with the aid of this fresh funding.
Similarly, NowRx is one of the others moving forward with digital pharmacy, which obtained funds through crowdsourcing.
The founder of the business was driven to improve the pharmacy experience rather than being mostly reliant on paper prescriptions and in-person pickups.
Most retail pharmacies provide other options like delivery, virtual care, curbside collection, and mail order. Since the outbreak, several have increased these services, and for patients, they offer more than just convenience.
Digital Pharmacy: The Next Big Thing in the Medical Industry?
Digital pharmacies offer many chances to satisfy customers, with the possibility of bigger profit margins if the experience is carried out successfully.
The following are some of the key reasons why digital pharmacy is the next big thing in the medical industry and should concentrate on to guarantee high-quality interactions across all channels and encourage repeat business:
Health care facilities are the future of pharmacy. They can also offer suggestions for goods that lessen side effects or information on a prescription drug.
Customers might be willing to spend money on a variety of specialist services, including blood pressure checks, immunizations, remote patient monitoring, and instructions on how to take drugs.
A digital pharmacy that transforms into a health center, focusing on providing expert guidance and services in addition to high-quality items, can boost sales and gain repeat business because of the wider range of services.
Pharmacists are typically a proud professional group, and involving digital pharmacy with them can change the entire prospect of pharmacy and the medical industry.
This pride can give rise to excellent customer service if properly fostered. Nothing beats a proud and informed pharmacist when it comes to educating patients.
Convenience from beginning to end
Digital pharmacy chains that provide omnichannel services, including click & collect, must ensure that the entire process runs smoothly from order placement through delivery.
Customers who use click & collect, who benefit from the convenience of ordering online, will likely like to have prompt treatment while they are in the drugstore.
Because of this, the pharmacy will need to designate specific pickup lines and ensure that customers can easily add cross-sales (such as health and beauty products) to their in-store orders.
When ordering medications, customers who choose home delivery (and click and collect) must be given a straightforward, uncomplicated approach.
It includes, for instance, the ability to refill a prescription by taking a picture of their current drug and hassle-free login to e-prescription patient data.
Retailers could integrate tailored product suggestion algorithms into their e-commerce platform to boost the likelihood of increased retail sales.
Customers who frequently use the same medication (or other items) may be eager to establish a long-term partnership with the pharmacy, for instance, through subscriptions for drugs or other things.
It is an excellent chance to build rapport and a lasting friendship and to effect a huge change in the digital pharmacy.
Customers who visit pharmacies to buy non-prescription items frequently prioritize quality over cost.
Digital pharmacies shouldn’t sacrifice quality to make a small amount of money to maintain their reputation and increase customer loyalty.
Instead, they should concentrate on producing high-quality goods and carefully medical condition positioning them online and offline.
The right technology
Any technology a pharmacy uses should generally promote quality and security while allowing flexibility and empowering both customers and staff. Choose an IT solution for your online pharmacy that facilitates flawless shopping processes.
In addition to providing clients with online access to e-prescriptions when permitted by legislation, this also entails providing them with useful internet content in general.
Don’t choose an integrated solution for the experience to be smooth across all channels.
Web app development should offer at least fundamental cross-selling capabilities to entice users to buy pertinent goods.
Do digital pharmacies want to overhaul the market?
Customers desire simplicity and want it to appear at their door just like any other item they purchase. That is only a portion of the puzzle.
The goal of digital pharmacies is to fill a market gap. The requirement also spans several generations. Older patients might not be able to visit the pharmacy physically. Digital natives are millennial, and it appeals to everyone.
Its popularity is not limited to cities. City dwellers have more options and value having their medications delivered. Even in pharmacy deserts, regions with little access to pharmacies, rural people can benefit.
Consumers are driving the change, but it’s also about completely overhauling the system. These new pharmacies rely heavily on automation, artificial intelligences, and technology to boost productivity and speed up prescription dispensing and insurance approvals.
Retail pharmacies are using these tools, but not to the same extent.
In certain cases, they are. The in-store experience is still very important to the large chains, and independent pharmacies might not have the funding for digitally transforming technology. Relationships are important in their effort to keep patients.
Is the Future a Hybrid Approach?
We may see a perfect example of pharmacy in the future. One that combines personalization and technology equally. They will be able to scale and cut costs due to technology.
By doing this, pharmacists might have more time to interact with patients and discuss their chronic diseases and prescription prescriptions.
In the coming five years, who will rule the supply chain market? At the moment, nobody knows. The solution will depend on a variety of internal and external circumstances.
Data will remain essential to pharmacy operations no matter how they develop in the future, and we’ll be there to help all pharmacies with their data management requirements.
Conclusion: The Potential Effect of Digital Pharmacy on the medical industry
Using digital pharmacies can make a patient’s chronic care more difficult, even if they only require straightforward prescriptions.
Patients must be more involved in health records because online healthcare practitioners and pharmacists cannot access a patient’s medical history or complete list of medications.
They will need to share information about their medications with each provider to prevent duplicate prescriptions or drug interactions.
Patients can keep track of their prescriptions or drugs that are going to arrive from which pharmacy and how much time the prescriptions will take.
Digital pharmacies will also prevent interruptions in therapy, request refills on time, drug home shipping, and some other potential effects on the medical industry.