Pharmacy In Your Pocket start-up BusyMed calls for digital transformation in Africa

Africa’s pharmaceutical industry must accelerate its digital transformation efforts if it is to take full advantage of an increasingly tech-savvy customer base and growing demand for traditional and novel medicines in communities across the continent.

That’s according to Mphati Jezile, chief executive of e-health tech start-up, BusyMed, which raised just under R9m in investment last year through the R500m LionPride Agility fund. rands for developing the technology and expanding its service nationwide.

Describing itself as a ‘pharmacy in your pocket’, BusyMed partners with key leaders in the medical and healthcare industry to provide quality, affordable healthcare no matter where someone lives , this thanks to their application launched last year, which can be downloaded for free from the Playstore or the Apple Store for free.

The e-health startup is expected to host 250 established pharmacies based in all 9 provinces including major cities, metropolitan areas, suburbs and townships on their platform. It is also currently processing between 50 and 60 unique deliveries per day, with forecasts expected to reach between 200 and 300 orders per day due to the integration of 250 additional pharmacies.

“Our app is designed for the consumer, giving them access to a reliable pharmacy network and online consultations with a pharmacist via the in-app chat function, they can also buy other products at the pharmacy and make payments directly on the app,” says Jezile.

Since launch, the app has also recorded over 4,000 unique transactions, with every user benefiting from the convenience and simplicity provided, and with winter underway, Jezile says the startup expects to see more. people adopting the app, as well as an increase in order volumes.

“With this technology, they could enjoy the ‘full pharmacy experience’ without having to leave their couch or disrupt their busy schedules,” confirms Jezile.

He adds that it makes a huge difference in the lives of people who may be on chronic medication for various conditions such as those who are disabled and find it uncomfortable and difficult to travel, even people who live in remote areas where transportation is hard to find or incur higher travel costs to visit their local pharmacies.

The local pharmaceutical industry has remained largely product-centric in its approach, but with the constant and rapid changes in global pharmaceutical markets leading to challenges such as cost pressures and declining profit margin, taking digital transformation out of the experimental phase industry will benefit the industry as a whole.

“A digital impact blurs business boundaries and shifts power from companies to customers and suppliers,” says Jezile, “Increased collaborations and new business models are the goals of current digitization initiatives in the pharmaceutical industry”, unpacks Jezile.

Looking forward

In terms of “new digital business,” Jezile explains that long-term sustainable pharmaceutical business models have been shown to require patient-centric collaboration and services.

To compensate for the lack of digital capabilities, he says healthcare players and ICT companies should consider forming partnerships to improve patient outcomes.

“No matter how you slice it, pharmacists play an important role in communities because the products they provide are essential to people’s well-being. The African pharmaceutical industry must adopt ways that will better serve these communities,” confirms Jezile

Dubbed Pharma 4.0, the pharmaceutical industry’s digital advancements are playing a central role in Africa’s healthcare revolution, with industry research revealing that more than two-thirds of patients are using the internet to help them manage their health. , however private. the time of collaboration towards digital transformation in the industry. “Industry research shows that more than two-thirds of patients use the internet to find information to help them manage their health, becoming more comfortable using digital networks and services, even in sensitive situations. .

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