When Walmart announced an initiative in March 2017 allowing patients to fill prescriptions via its mobile app and providing express pickup service for medications, the conversation around technology in pharmacies made headline news. The message was clear: Patients have retail expectations when it comes to engaging with pharmacies.
In fact, several recent technology advances in the pharmacy field have been driven by consumer demand for improved pharmacy access, safety, and service.
1. Technology that improves access
Endexx Corporation, an inventory management and technology solutions company, will be using its AutoSpense automated inventory and vending technology in retail pharmacies as a way to give patients access to prescription will-call and other retail pharmacy support. The technology, which was approved in March, aims to reduce transaction time for customers, giving pharmacies the ability to serve more patients daily.
“We believe our technology empowers customers and increases efficiency among the retail markets to improve patient care and give them better access to their medical care,” said Todd Davis, CEO of Endexx, in a statement. “The major trend that is shifting in the business of retail pharmacies is on expanding the services offered, and we believe our technology will serve both customers and our retail clients to improve front-end sales and overall revenues and profits.”
Another example: Publix Pharmacy, a retail pharmacy with hundreds of locations in the Southern U.S., and BayCare health system, which includes 14 hospitals in Tampa Bay and central Florida, have joined to use telehealth technology in pharmacies and in hospitals in four Florida counties. BayCare will place branded telehealth sites in Publix locations, and Publix pharmacies in five hospitals. The companies hope to have all locations using the technology by the end of this year. Patients using the telehealth technology will be able to speak to doctors through video conferencing and utilize diagnostic tools, such as blood pressure cuffs and stethoscopes. The doctors participating in video conference can write prescriptions so that patients can pick them up on site.