Healthcare is a hot button issue right now — in politics and technology. Americans are living longer and healthcare is evolving to keep up, embracing digital innovations across delivery, treatment, retail and customer service.
Pharmacies Evolve To Embrace More Digital, Holistic Healthcare Solutions
In 2018, CVS acquired Aetna, a move industry insiders called “a shift toward major vertical consolidation in the health care industry” making CVS a major player in healthcare innovation. The CVS acquisition of Aetna was framed as an opportunity to offer community-focused, less-costly and easier-to-use healthcare solutions for consumers. The acquisition also represented an opportunity to shake up the entrenched business models that have dominated healthcare.
“By fully integrating Aetna's medical information and analytics with CVS Health’s pharmacy data, we can develop new ways to engage consumers in their total health and wellness through personal contacts and deeper collaboration with their primary care physicians,” said CVS Health President and Chief Executive Officer Larry J. Merlo. One of the first iterations of the merger was the CVS HealthHUB locations, which are open in limited cities currently, with plans to expand in 2020. CVS locations with HealthHUBs will dedicate 20% of their stores to health services, including face-to-face assistance for shoppers provided by a designated Care Concierge, access to on-demand digital health kiosks and iPads for exploring health and wellness apps.
Across the board, pharmaceutical retailers are seeing the need to step up their digital offerings as consumers increasingly move online for their healthcare, prescription and shopping needs, and as strategic acquisitions like CVS/Aetna provide sophisticated technology-enabled solutions.
Seamless Delivery Of Prescriptions Meets Consumer Needs
It isn’t often an industry undergoes a digital revolution without one of the big four tech companies planting a flag, and healthcare is no different. In 2018, Amazon acquired Pillpack, a digital pharmacy that sorts customers’ meds into convenient packs with time and date stamps, delivers them and refills them. Pillpack even communicates with insurers when needed. Pillpack represents the frictionless solution many shoppers are asserting as their preference, as indicated by the growth of subscriptions and businesses putting mobile-first.
In a move that will likely help smaller pharmacies, digital pharmacy management system BestRx partnered with prescription delivery service ScriptDrop to offer integrated same-day shipping. The BestRx partnership with ScriptDrop allows for faster delivery, better tracking and enhanced functionality, making ScriptDrop easier for pharmacies to implement. 37% of patients surveyed by ScriptDrop have failed to pick up prescriptions because it was inconvenient — a seamless delivery system can begin to alleviate those issues.
Innovations In Medicine And Medical Solutions Are Matched By Digital Customer Service Assistance
Technological solutions are creating breakthroughs in the treatment of a long list of illnesses and health conditions, but the digital innovations in medical technology are complex and truly groundbreaking. In order to offer the best maintenance, updates and access, customer service for many newer technological medical devices is provided through digital channels.
Medical Plastics News explains, “The networking of medical devices and predictive monitoring provides a completely new customer experience. Service technicians can use remote diagnostics or context-sensitive repair instructions to reduce the frequency and duration of service activities.” Customers are also able to use chatbots, which provide patients with real-time solutions when they are adapting to new medical equipment. In general, chatbots have become a useful resource across both medical and healthcare companies.
Digital innovations in healthcare span across every aspect of the industry. And like so many industries, adoption of digital may mean the difference between gaining and retaining customers or being left behind. Whether its streamlined pill packs seamlessly delivered or real-time communications for medical device users, digital is the future of healthcare.
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About the AuthorMore Content by Sarah Cavill