Smart digital platforms bridge patients, prescriptions and access to medicines

In recent years, the healthcare sector has witnessed a major transformation, driven by technological advances and changing consumer expectations.

One of the most significant advances lies in the integration of digital tools and solutions aimed at streamlining the access and delivery of medicines. This change is promising, especially for older adults looking for convenience, accessibility and affordability in their care journey.

One of the latest developments in this space comes from Amazon Pharmacy, which recently launchedexpandedits same-day prescription drug delivery service to New York City and the greater Los Angeles area, increasing its coverage to five cities.

After receiving a handwritten or online prescription, advanced generative AI performs thorough preliminary and fact-checking tasks. Pharmacists then verify the accuracy of the medication, dosage and address details.

At specific locations, robotic arms help fill and label prescriptions before they undergo pharmaceutical inspection. Delivery methods vary by location; for example, eBikes are used to navigate congested areas like Manhattan, while all-electric vans can service the suburbs of Los Angeles.

HowDoug HerringtonCEO of Worldwide Amazon Stores, said in a press release on Tuesday (March 26), by incorporating Amazon Pharmacys deliveries into our existing world-class logistics network, Amazon is building the fastest and most convenient service for the home delivery of prescription drugs.

Amazon’s foray into the pharmaceutical domain reflects a broader trend of players recognizing the potential of digital platforms to improve access and delivery of medicines.

CarelonRxa division of US health insurer Elevance Health,launched a digital pharmacy platform on January 1 this year, which will allow members to engage with pharmacists 24 hours a day by text, chat or phone. The platform also offers features such as drug price comparison and prescription tracking, with push notifications ensuring members stay informed about their prescriptions.

Commenting on the launch, Paul Marchetti, President of CarelonRx, emphasized the importance of providing consumers with a seamless and convenient medication access experience.

Members should be able to easily compare drug costs, speak to a member of staff at any time of the day […]being able to track the status of their prescriptions and getting those prescriptions delivered to their doorsteps on time, Marchetti said.

Earlier in October, Alto Pharmacy, a full-service digital pharmacy, i Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company,announcedan expansion of its services aimed at offering low-cost medications for delivery and pickup to customers in metropolitan areas where Alto has pharmacy locations.

Beyond convenience and affordability, digital pharmacies are also improving healthcare delivery for older consumers by promoting consistent medication use and patient engagement.

Using features like automated refill reminders and medication management tools, these platforms allow individuals to stay consistent with their treatment regimens and actively participate in their care journey.

This fits with PYMNTS Intelligencedata showing strong consumer interest in unified digital health platforms, especially among baby boomers and seniors.

According to the report, 90% of baby boomers and seniors would prefer to refill prescriptions through digital platforms. Similarly, 89% and 75% of this demographic indicated a preference for one-click prescription refill options and to request prescription deliveries, respectively.

Additionally, the fact that nearly 80% of consumers who have expressed at least some interest in using unified digital healthcare platforms said they prefer to access online pharmacies through these platforms further emphasizes the growing integration of digital solutions in the future of medicine access and delivery.

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