New healthcare app aims to improve patient adherence

pharmafile | November 17, 2016 | News story | Medical Communications, Sales and Marketing Echo, app, patient adherence, smartphone 

The newly released app, named Echo, was developed by former Apple executive Dr Sai Lakshmi and former LloydsPharmacy executive Stephen Bourke, and aims to give patients an easier way of keeping up with their repeat prescriptions.

The startup gained backing to the tune of £1.8 million by investors attracted to the idea of a more convenient way for the UK public to re-order their prescriptions. The app allows users to scan the barcode of their prescription to add it to the app’s database that can then be reordered through the local GP. Once the GP has approved the prescription, the medicine will be delivered to the users home via the Royal Mail, who have agreed a deal with the app owners.

The Echo app website explains the thinking behind the app: “Patients aged 25-34 years are the worst at making sure they take their medicine, with more than a third (37%) admitting that they occasionally forget to request a repeat prescription in time. Of those surveyed, 27% confess to booking an emergency GP appointment and 7% to going to A&E just to obtain a repeat prescription. Across the wider population, men are twice as likely as women to require an emergency appointment. Worryingly, 23% of 35-44 years olds say that they have gone without medication due to not having a prescription.”

With the most frequent users of smartphone and apps being younger, it’s clear that this is the demographic that Echo aims to be able to entice to their services. Though the website of Echo also lists more statistics for the worrying level of non-adherence to necessary prescriptions in older generations as well. If Echo can attract even a small percentage of the public, it could be a small step to revolutionise the way prescriptions. 

The app currently has ten pharmacy partners to send to their current 1,500 users. The app is completely free to download and prescriptions cost the standard £8.40 per item.

Ben Hargreaves

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