The US healthcare system is in a state of flux and the pharmacy industry is no exception. While patients are spending more than ever on pharmaceuticals, revenues and profits for pharmacy storefronts continue to decrease. So, how can that be? Pharmacy companies are facing major competition with digital-only startups like Capsule and Zipdrug for prescription drug fulfillment and delivery, as well as new direct-to-consumer brands selling things normally bought in a drug store, like Careof or Ritual for vitamins, and Quip or Harry’s for personal hygiene products. This trend points to changing customer expectations that pharmacies will have to keep up with. Customers want personalized care and more offerings all wrapped up in a seamless, delightful experience.
Most pharmacies are cognizant of shifting expectations and are eager to redefine themselves and expand their ecosystem of healthcare services. Where they can deliver and differentiate with real value is in building out their physical to digital experiences in ways that show their customers they are there to care.
CVS has taken recent steps to transform the pharmacy experience in the US with the introduction of HealthHUB locations at CVS pharmacy stores in Houston, Texas. The three piloted locations in Houston offer a range of services including: personalized pharmacy support programs, on-demand health kiosks and new durable medical equipment. In this way, they are offering something more than the convenience of on-demand delivery, like Capsule. They are bridging the digital and physical experiences and positioning themselves as centers for care in order to deliver on their brand promise of “helping people on their path to better health.”
Technology-driven disruption of the pharmaceutical industry is only on the rise—especially with players like Amazon potentially entering the scene. Purchasing drugs from online vendors, digital communication technologies that enable telehealth, telemedicine and telepharmacy, and point-of-care technology for screening and testing are already changing the way we interact with these hubs. Pharmacies need to leverage data for personalization, putting the customer in the center of everything they dowhen creating integrated and strategic retail spaces.
With frog’s commitment to human-centered design and our significant technology expertise, we are uniquely qualified to deliver products, services and systems that empower people to live healthier lives and access more effective treatments resulting in better outcomes for all.