I’ve just started collaborating on a report (the key findings of which will be shared openly on this blog) that will outline the mHealth opportunity for high street pharmacists, focused on the opportunity they have to engage with their customers.
While it’s widely known that supermarkets stocking toiletries and vitamins at EDLP’s have had a massive impact on high street businesses a lot of people aren’t so aware of the huge impact that mobiles have had but it’s easy to see if you can recall the priority stores used to place on photo development services before Nokia became the worlds no 1 camera manufacturer:
Contrast this to 2011 where it’s easy to find store fronts that don’t even mention Photo Development services:
Although most have tried to retain customers with digital printing and kiosks capable of printing from bluetooth camera phones, memory sticks etc the commercial pressures for the small independents have forced many to reluctantly find shelf space for a wide range of gimmicky crystal candles and spurious supplements. But after the transformation we’ve seen in the Nokia decade I think it’s obvious to most of us that this really isn’t even enough to keep up, and whilst the velocity of the mobile movement is easy to see we hope to define the key opportunities.
If you think these stores have time to wait, one look at the mobile innovations taking place at the increasingly competitive supermarket chains should make it obvious there is no time for apathy eg. Tesco’s are in the process of upgrading their thousands of supermarket scanners to enable the replacement of the very successful physical plastic card/keyfob with a mobile screen solution:
I think it’s inconceivable that this move to an always available, always carried opportunity won’t leave those inexpensive physical cards and expensive kiosks completely redundant (if they weren’t already):
In addition to looking at the opportunity and privacy issues surrounding appstore offerings for Smartphones:
We’ll also be looking at the more basic pharmacy connected M2M solutions that are emerging in the US:
Whilst the opportunities I personally find the most interesting arise from secure mobile accessible websites, patient portals that can support safer new patient experiences and business opportunities the report will also be covering how pharmacists can use tablet and mobile devices to meet CPD & educational needs as well as a reference tool at work, basic mobile marketing opportunities, mobilised repeat prescription services, mobile disease management opportunities, instore mobile fast track experience, loyalty programs, mHealth device/app sales, staff rota management, staff access and premises security.
Have you seen anything interesting? Can you think of any ways that Pharmacists can use mHealth to do good and make more money?