More and more businesses are transitioning to a digital platform, using the power of technology to improve the products and services offered and delivered to consumers. Most industries impacted most prevalently by the tech boom have included retail businesses, but the healthcare sector is beginning its catch-up. The most recent shift toward a more digitally focused consumer experience is pharmacy operations. Many patients are demanding faster, more efficient tracking and delivering of their prescription medications from pharmacies without a physical location. While some organisations have seen this transformation as an opportunity for improving patient care, others cite risks and challenges in creating a sustainable digital pharmacy experience for the majority of patients.
In the UK, online pharmacies are also known as distance selling pharmacies, and they have been in operation albeit on a small scale since 1999. As of 2015, just under 500 online pharmacies existing, most of which were connected to a physical location provider for ease of service. Most online pharmacies in the UK today create a more streamlined process for patients to receive prescription medications quickly. Doctors simply fill a prescription through the pharmacy platform, and patients have the opportunity to either pick it up at an actual location or have it delivered to their door. The idea behind digital platforms for prescriptions relies heavily on the retailer to consumer model like technology giant Amazon. Individuals want quick service from the comfort and convenience of their home, particularly those managing chronic conditions that hinder their ability to get out to a physical pharmacy location.
The most significant opportunity in online pharmacy providers is the improved efficiency in relaying prescription data to the patient, his or her GP, and the pharmacy. This type of system offers more transparency in medication management when it is