During the coronavirus lockdown, one among several challenges we faced was access to medicine. There were brief windows where restrictions were lifted and pharmacies were allowed to open. Often being met with long queues of those in need. Several pharmacies experimented with the idea of delivering medicines. But this approach wasn’t exactly noted for being effective. Meanwhile, PickMe was lauded for its efforts, delivering groceries and other essentials in that same period.
Since restrictions have eased, PickMe has absorbed many vendors it partnered with originally to deliver essentials. Today, when you log into the PickMe app you’ll find a new section called, ‘Market.’ It is here that you’ll find businesses offering to deliver everything from a loaf of bread to a packet of washing powder.
Among these businesses is Healthguard, whose offerings on PickMe began with off-the-counter medicines, facemasks, hand sanitizers, and other protective measures. Now, the partnership between PickMe and Healthguard has expanded to offer delivery of prescription medicines. The ride-hailing service aims to get the medicines to your doorstep within the hour upon confirmation.
Ordering your medicine through PickMe
The process to get your medicine delivered is pretty straightforward. Log into the PickMe app and navigate to the ‘Market’ section. Scroll down from the list or use the search bar and select Healthguard. Once at the Healthguard page, select the option called, ‘Upload Your Prescription.’ You’re then redirected to a page where you can upload a picture of your prescription, select the usage period, add any specific notes, and then checkout to place the order.
After placing the order Healthguard may contact you for further details. Then the final bill will be calculated and the amount communicated to you. After reviewing the bill, you can confirm the order. Upon confirmation, PickMe promises to have the medicines delivered to you within the hour. And that’s the entire process from start to finish to get your medicines through PickMe from Healthguard.
Of course, this isn’t merely limited to prescription medicines. You’ll notice there’s another option called custom order. With it you can have over the counter medicines delivered as you require through the same process. Currently, PickMe’s delivery of prescription medicines is limited to a 7km radius from Maitland Crescent in Colombo.
As it has done with its other services, the company is working to expand this service into more areas over the coming months. In doing so, PickMe would solve another deep societal issue by utilizing technology. Just as it did during the lockdown, when it’s app became an essential digital gateway to obtain essential supplies. Even today, as restrictions have been eased, the PickMe app remains a convenient option of having groceries delivered to your doorstep. It’s a showcase of how apps and technology as a whole can make our lives easier.
Getting medicines to your door
With the addition of medicine delivery to its list of features, the PickMe app solves a bigger issue than we realize. A large percentage of the Sri Lankan population suffers from non-communicable diseases like diabetes, asthma, hypertension, etc. Hence, we must make medicines more accessible to those in need of it. Pharmacies tried to address this by delivering medicines on their own. But it wasn’t notably effective. The partnership between PickMe and HealthGuard changes this by using technology to solve the biggest challenge.
For most pharmacies that attempted deliveries, the biggest challenge was simply logistics. Whereas PickMe has invested heavily in its technological infrastructure to master the art of logistics. The effectiveness of this data-driven approach was evident to all when we were stuck inside our homes. Recently, PickMe also entered into a partnership with Microsoft to further scale up its capabilities with the use of Microsoft’s AI tools and Azure cloud platform.
Alongside these technological investments, PickMe has also expanded its fleet and logistics offerings to meet the growing demands of eCommerce. Now with the delivery of medicines, PickMe has evolved considerably and come a long way from its humble origins.