Digital technology has progressed rapidly over the past few years and it now impacts on most areas of our lives. It is also changing the way that we access healthcare services and manage our health. This has changed the way that consumers use healthcare brands and what their expectations are.
These changing demands apply across the whole sector, and particularly in the area of e commerce pharmacy website design. Here’s a look at how technology is reshaping the landscape of public health.
Integrated mobile health apps
Mobile health apps are now available for a wide range of services, and can be integrated with online pharmacies to manage prescriptions and order repeat medications. There are dedicated NHS apps and other digital apps that are compatible with NHS services such as maternity, child health, and general support with wellbeing.
Integrated health apps can be personalised to offer tailored healthcare plans to patients. This can help them manage chronic health conditions more effectively, with tracking and reminders to re-order or take medication. It can also be a source of support to patients who are making healthy lifestyle changes and it can include tips and recommendations.
The technology gives patients more agency in taking charge of their own health and wellbeing, and empowers them with a range of resources at their fingertips to encourage well-informed decisions.
It is now a standard practice for pharmacies to offer online consultations either via phone, video conference, email or text message. They can be in the form of AI chatbots to help check and identify common symptoms and recommend treatments, or pre-arranged one to one consultations with a qualified pharmacist.
Pharmacists are able to offer advice about minor health concerns such as coughs, colds, stomach aches, sore throats, and general aches and pains. They are trained to recognise red flag symptoms, and can refer a customer to a doctor if they suspect a more in-depth consultation might be needed.
All pharmacists are highly trained in the correct use of medicines and some hold supplementary qualifications that allow them to prescribe certain medicines. From early next year, pharmacists will be able to offer direct treatment for seven common health conditions without the need for a GP appointment or doctor’s prescription.
These include sinusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bite, impetigo, shingles, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women. This widens access to healthcare and also frees up pressure on doctors and enables them to deal with more severe health concerns.
Technology can be used to harness data to identify patterns and trends in customer behaviour. In the pharmaceutical website sector, this can be used to tailor content to address specific needs, and assist with the targeted distribution of resources in response to potential demand.
Technology is widening access to healthcare and providing a more equal service, especially to those in remote communities or those with disabilities. However, it is important to continue to work towards digital inclusion and ensure that older or more disadvantaged groups are not left behind.