With so much focus on streamlining business practices and revenues, it’s easily forgotten that Digital Health is ultimately about improving patient health. We’ll look at four great digital health solutions to offer in your pharmacy in 2021 which benefit your patient as much as your pharmacy.
The Digital Health services to offer in your pharmacy
TympaHealth’s range of ear health has brought another service for pharmacies to offer to their communities, and it’s absolutely taken off across the UK.
As shown in the video above, TympaHealth integrates health technology with mobile technology. It also combines the ability to conduct hearing tests and micro-suction into one piece of kit.
Benefits of the service
With most GP’s dropping the ear wax removal during COVID-19, patients are actively seeking out the service. If your pharmacy is appearing on search engines when people search for “ear wax treatment” or similar, you’ll be reaping the rewards already.
Micro-suction, for example. typically takes between 10-20 minutes per appointment, with most prices around £50. So it’s decent bang for your buck. If you automate the process for booking appointments, you really begin driving your profit/minute conversion into an attractive proposition for your pharmacy.
The TympaHealth offering provides more than just ear wax removal, and the process is one that assures patients that their overall ear health is in good hands. This assurance and professional service gives confidence in your pharmacy’s ability to deliver other services, too.
As far as initial services to trial, moving towards a more service-driven pharmacy model, TympaHealth’s Ear Health service is a great place to start in 2021.
2. Allergy Testing
The world has never been more self-aware and proactive when it comes to intolerances and allergies. One only has to stroll down the dairy aisle of a supermarket and see all the Lactose-free products on offer to know that intolerances and allergies are at the forefront of people’s minds nowadays.
PharmaDoctor partnered with Klarify.me who innovated DIY Allergy Test Kits for people to order and carry out at home. The Klarify test kits detect the body’s reactions to allergen extracts and components, which allows for comprehensive precision testing on hundreds of allergens.
The PharmaDoctor service gives you the accredited training necessary for delivering the service for patients. It’s a useful service, as a lot of patients struggle extracting blood themselves.
Someone buying Antihistamines? Just as you look for warning signs with health conditions, allergies are now something you can screen for and test, without having to refer anyone externally.
Benefits of going private
Of course, allergy tests are available through the NHS, but an allergy test service offers the benefit of not having to a) wait months to find out if you can eat or drink a certain foodstuff and b) keep a food diary in attempts to try and determine the source of intolerance.
If you’re in an affluent area where people invest money to save themselves time, this service could be very popular.
Pharmaself24 brings ATM technology to prescriptions. Think about that. How much more convenient did the banking experience become when withdrawing cash didn’t require queueing up and speaking to someone? Not only for the patients but for the banks. It meant the tellers could give more useful services to people who needed more complicated problems solving.
It’s hardly a secret in the industry that margins on prescriptions have put a lot of pressure on pharmacies to come up with alternative solutions to increase their revenue, in some cases to stay afloat. It doubles up as both a convenient service and efficient automation, Pharmaself24 is a great way for your pharmacy to automate the collection of medicines, become more convenient for patients, and free up your staff’s valuable time.
The tech works in a similar way to an Amazon lock-box.
- The patient registers with you for the service.
- They re-order their prescription as usual (hopefully through a prescription-reordering app).
- You prepare the prescription as usual.
- Once prepared, and loaded into the Pharmaself, a text alerts the patient that their prescription is ready for collection and gives them a PIN for the machine.
- The patient collects their prescription whenever they want, 24/7.
- As it’s all digitised, the Pharmaself24 keeps a full audit trail from loading to collection.
It’s an incredible solution for your patients. During the pandemic, it really hammered home its utility, offering a chance to collect prescriptions without any need to come into contact with another person. See how we drove 100’s of EPS Sign-ups through Pharmaself24 marketing.
In a post-pandemic world, the value of a Prescription Collection Machine is intrinsic to customer convenience. And customer convenience is in turn, crucial to customer retention. 24/7 collection is so convenient for the working population, as well as people whose work shifts change.
Why would you queue, or collect at hours that don’t suit you, when you don’t have to?
Competitive Customer Convenience
Customer convenience isn’t a problem when you don’t have convenient competition. But the second someone else is offering 24/7 collection nearby, you’re going to start losing customers. Why wait until you’re losing customers? You could be the one with the machine and accumulating more customers.
Another source of this competition is online pharmacies. They already offer an extremely convenient service. But people might actually prefer to collect their prescriptions. People living in a block of flats for instance may have delivery difficulties. People who aren’t at home a lot might not want their prescriptions sat on their doorstep getting rained on. It’s not going to be the biggest source of people signing up, but it’s another string to your convenient bow.
With digital health in mind, this is a great service for patients. Many patients often complain about their prescriptions not being ready on time. Their dependence on their medication makes timeliness a major concern for them. Streamlining the process and giving round-the-clock access to collections severely reduces prescription dispensing time and decreases occurrences of patients going without medication (whoever’s fault it is).
For so many reasons, Prescription Collection Machines like the Pharmaself24 are absolutely one of the top digital health innovations to adopt in 2021.
Already offer Prescription Collection or are planning to? Check out our Pharmaself24 marketing packs to massively increase EPS sign-ups in your community.
4. Instant Dentist
When it comes to convenience, and tech which disrupts industries, Dental Health is a prime example.
Dentists have one of the ultimate reputations for being hard to get an appointment with. By the time a toothache gets seen to, it’s too late – it’s either gone away or there was no stitch in time to save the nine. The attraction of Instant Dentist is banishing that barrier.
As you can see in the video above, Instant Dentist works via photos and questions uploaded through an app, which Online Dentists then use to make assessments. (It’s probably a good idea to dedicate a private space in your pharmacy for people to take these photos to avoid embarrassment.) The Online Dentists then communicate with the patients via the app to prescribe treatment or products for their issue.
Why should I offer the service?
Boots on the ground, to use the old military phrase. People will love the very concept of Instant Dentist, so it’s a great thing to stick in your windows, preferably on an eye-catching digital screen, but posters would work too. (The reason I prefer digital screens for pharmacies offering digital services like that is that it sets the tone for a hygienic, clean, modern facility.) Footfall, at the time of writing, is still a touchy subject, with lockdown only just now beginning to ease.
However, if you market Instant Dentist digitally, (which you absolutely should) then it’s a lockdown-proof service anyway. People have to leave their homes to go to a dentist. The Instant Dentist service is just a different location to get an available dentist consultation.
The service is a completely free setup. As it’s a remote service that simply connects the patients to dentists, there isn’t any additional work for you or compliance to meet.
And you get a revenue split.
Increase visitors to your pharmacy and increase revenue.
It’s that simple.
5. Video Consultations
Even coming out of lockdown, video consultations are a super convenient solution (which also broadens your geographical catchment area) and are now culturally normalised.
Even the elderly market adopted the use of this technology during the pandemic to stay in contact with family. And for the elderly, video consultations solve the problem of mobility. Offering video consultations alongside in-person appointments makes your service accessible to everyone.
The important considerations when offering video consultations are the experience and security.
No one wants a laggy video call where you struggle to see and hear someone. A solid pharmacy internet connection is a necessity to offer this service.
Safeguarding & Security with Video Consultations
There are significant differences between video calls with friends versus patients. Be mindful of confidentiality over video calls. Treat them with the same respect you’d give to face-to-face consultations is key.
Here is the NHS guidance for providing safe video consultations in a healthcare environment.
Want to talk more about which services to offer in your pharmacy?
Get in touch! We can help with everything you need to get started, including attracting more people to your pharmacy by marketing these services expertly.