Over the past 12 months we’ve been in extensive talks with several Pharmacy chains over the integrating the 3G Doctor service into their websites and offer support of Video Kiosks to be installed into their underutilised onsite consultation rooms, so it is great to hear that Lloydspharmacy have taken a lead in this market with the announcement that they will be rolling out ‘virtual GPs’ to enable customers to remotely consult with doctors onsite and pick up prescriptions immediately.
The service is an extension of the Dr Thom online doctor service already offered on their website and will mean customers going into their 300 retail outlets will be able to consult a doctor via a computer terminal on a range of health needs, including hair loss treatments, contraception, sexual health and travel vaccinations.
In these tough times the service is set to provide patients great value as the GP consultation is being offered for free (although private prescription charges will be incurred if a prescription is required), instantly and at the single location. It is also set to help significantly reduce the amount of time required of patients as the pharmacy will instantly be sent the prescription o electronically.
The roll-out of the service coincides with the publication of a report on the future of remote diagnosis and prescription services, from the consumer and business trends think-tank The Future Foundation, that was commissioned by Lloydspharmacy. Authored by Judith Kleine Holthause the report published results of a July 2009 1,000 respondent poll that showed how consumers view remote diagnosis and prescription services. Promisingly 48% said they were interested in online diagnosis and 56% were interested in remote prescriptions. Click here to download the report (1.0 MB PDF)