THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A mobile app that delivers medicines home, gives information on medicines in stock at the pharmacy, its prices and discounts if any and, importantly, has an advance booking facility is what thoughts of convenience are made of — the about-to-be-launched IHDB app does just that.
The app by In House Drug Bank (IHDB) under SAT Hospital Health Education Society (SATHHES), developed by Codeingz Technologies, will be launched by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in November.
“We attend to around thousand phone calls a day with enquiries on the availability of drugs and its price,” says Biju A, chief pharmacist at the drug bank. This app will go a long way in helping patients get their medicines from the drug bank. “The drug store operates from the medical college campus and the customers have a hard time either coming here or parking their vehicles if they do manage to come due to the ongoing master plan works. It was against this backdrop that we decided to develop an app,” Biju adds.
Biju says there is an overwhelming response as the app has been downloaded more than a hundred times. “The users are also providing feedback to improve the app,” he said.
Currently in beta mode, the app will be launched in a phased manner and the full version is expected within six months. It is available on the Google Playstore. “The primary focus is on app development based on user feedback,” Biju said. In the subsequent phases, option of direct billing and facility for doctors to order essential drugs during emergencies are also on the horizon.
To popularise the app, IIHD plans to give additional discount to customers downloading the app. “They don’t have to wait in a queue. For them, a fast track counter will be set up at IIHD. In addition, an option will also be made available for dispatching products via courier. But for that an additional payment will have to be made,” said a SATHHES representative. According to SATHHES, app users can pay using debit or credit cards.
Started in 1996, IHDB was the idea of former SAT Hospital superintendent Dr S Hariharan. Though the drug centre limited its service to SAT patients initially, it opened its doors to the public later on.