Smart pharmacy

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Smart pharmacy
Introduction to the Idea
When patients walk into a pharmacy, they expect to get their orders handled immediately. This is not the case most of the time. Especially, the elderly and people with special needs find it hectic to wait in line to be served. Our objective is to come up with innovative service that will cater to the needs of our clients. Indeed, companies are harnessing the power of the computer and, as such, software becomes an indispensable tool. Thus, we are proposing to develop an app that will make the process of ordering and delivery of medication simple and efficient. The app will run on smart devices and will use artificial intelligence (AI) in its infrastructure to provide a user experience tailored to our customers.
Nature of the Opportunity
Technology push is a situation where technology exists in a given domain, in turn leading to developers making a product out of it (reference needed). For instance, touch screen technology was first introduced by the Royal Radar Establishment (reference needed). Based on this technology, in the 1980s, Hewlett Packard successfully designed a computer screen with touch screen capabilities. Market pull, on the other hand, is a situation where the market demand for a specific product and designers get to work in designing it. A good example is the camera (Arnold et al., 2010). The concept of coming up with an app to manage ordering and delivering of medication is borne out of the need by the market. The idea will help to collect vast amounts of data and analyze that data while, at the same time, create an innovative way of distributing pharmaceutical products.
Our service will help to achieve the following:
Using new ways of data analysis of patients.
High number of virtual clients around the country whose date is taken when they register. This will allow us to push the market into new ways of understanding clients and their needs.
Creative process of pharmaceutical distribution and customer relation.
Defining the problem
As a result of factors including market shares of big pharmaceutical retailers, poor marketing and related costs, and habit by consumers, a gap exists in service delivery. Indeed, a poor relationship exists between consumers and pharmacies thereby creating the need for a new approach of service delivery. Evidently, the owners of pharmacies in UAE are responsible for the poor planning and this is affecting consumers especially in times of pandemics such as COVID-19. Again, the pharmaceutical corporate sector has such a strong grip on the market and new approach is needed. It is reported that most customers spend 89% of their time interacting with mobile apps (Vakhnenko, 2020). Tapping into such a resource can help to get products to those who need them.
Problem Solving Process
Solving the problem requires marketing techniques that will ensure a healthy customer-pharmacy relationship. One of these techniques is the use of a mobile app that will be easily accessible to customers, easy on their pockets and will save them time. Some pharmaceutical companies such as Talabat are offering delivery services for cosmetics and over-the-counter drugs. Some are doing so at a fee.
Such methods have been employed to maintain a good relationship between the pharmacies and their clients. Abu‐Omar et al. (2011) report that most customers had a relationship with their pharmaceutical provider and even treated them as their healthcare provider. Such a relationship is key and helps to win customer loyalty.
Market Estimate
Many challenges emerge when using the traditional way of booking appointments. First, patients will get delayed treatment since they have to physically present themselves to health centers which takes time. Also, such delay may lead to wrong medication being administered.
The smart pharmacy model will help to eliminate such challenges. An online management system helps the doctor in attending to his patients. In fact, an online appointment comes with a lot of value. For instance, the doctor is able to feed client information accurately, can engage the patient in a better way, and make the patient feel appreciated. Besides, such a platform comes at a low cost (Umair, 2020).
Technology Adoption/Roger’s Model
The adoption of our service will borrow from Everett Roger’s Diffusion of Innovation Model. The theory explains the dynamics of adoption with regards to the introduction of new technology. Rogers stated that a new idea or technology is influenced by four elements including innovation, communication media, time, and society . He also highlights the concept of adopters that include:
Innovators: Those willing to take the risk and come up with a new product.
Early adopters: These have a high opinion and resources and can influence others easily.
Early majority: They take some time to adopt the technology but still in the early stages.
Late majority: These are the average participants. They view adoption with some degree of scepticism.
Laggards: They come last and wait for everyone else to test the new product.
The stages of adoption include:
Knowledge/awareness: Being exposed to the innovation but lacking information.
Persuasion: The individual is interested in the product and seeks information.
Decision: The individual evaluates whether to adopt the product or not.
Implementation: The individual tries the new product but to a varying degree.
Confirmation/continuation: The individual is confident of the uses of the
product and continues to use it (Rogers, 1983).
Since the use of smart application is wildly spread, our service will be within the early majority according to Roger’s Model.
Appropriability/Teece Model
In order to ensure profitability while introducing our product, we will consider Teece’s model. It states that there is an assumption that those who first commercialize a new product do not benefit as much as the competition. Teece talks of two types of organizations – innovators and imitators. Innovators will spend a lot of resources developing a new product while imitators will just copy the design and use the product as their own. Eventually, imitators spend less and their overall profit is more than that of innovators (Teece, 1986). From the tecce model our service will be in the 4th
Business Model Characteristics
Our business model has identified two main income streams:
The subscriptions of SEHA, Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, will come from the hospitals and clinics that are in the UAE. To use the app, each hospital and clinic will need to purchase a license so that it is customized to their specific needs and clientele. The customers in this case are the hospitals and clinics and not the end users (patients).
As with any other smart app, advertisements which will mostly be health-related, will be run on the app interface adding an extra level of income generation. The advertisers will pay us directly to display the advertisements in front of thousands of app users.
Other streams of revenue include a percentage from product prices and cross sales.
The Business Canvas
Our key patients include the elderly, people with special needs, chronic disease patients, pregnant women and mothers, and remote area patients (those far way from pharmacies).
These customers will be maintained using a combination of social media, the app itself, and customer service platforms. The feedback and ratings generated from these channels will be used to improve the service. Other channels include the company website, media coverage and advertisements, and pharmacy outreach.
We are proposing to provide value using the app since it is easy to use, gives variety, allows for customer support, saves time, and reduces waiting time. Also, the app allows access to a large selection of suppliers, higher competition pricing; thus affordable prices, and cross-selling.
Our partner include pharmaceutical stores, investors, delivery companies, payment processors, and mobile app developers.
Our key activities include conceptualizing the app and initiating its development, agreements with Daman and SEHA, and coordinating with suppliers and logistics companies.
Our expenses will include the cost of app development, office rent, delivery charges, and salaries.
Lastly, our revenue will come from SEHA subscriptions, product sales, cross-sales, and adverts placed on the app.
Team Overview
Owing to the lack of four personnel in our team, we will schedule to place a call for applications by way of advertising, to fill in the missing positions.
Next Step
In summary, some of the issues include changes in the business idea as a result of the research are the following.
In this case, the fact that a product might be new in the market does not necessarily mean that the innovator will have the lion’s share of the revenue. It is good to think about the competitors and the role they play, and how we can cushion ourselves for such negative effects.
To add, a product might have so many benefits to the consumers but not all of them will be ready to adopt it straight away. At times, it is good to consider the value provided by opinion leaders. In some instances, an advertisement involving a prominent person or celebrity can give the endorsement required for the masses to adopt an new product.
The remaining gaps in knowledge or risks, as well as the advantages for example, with respect to the value chain or the customer segment include an
improvement of the product will be important to ensure that we remain business. Extensive research as to what the customers need will have to done on a continuous basis, otherwise, the competition will crush us.
Abu‐Omar, S. M., Weiss, M. C., & Hassell, K. (2011). Pharmacists and their customers: A personal or anonymous service? International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 8(2), 135-143.
Arnold, H., Erner, M., Möckel, P., & Schläffer, C. (2010). Managing technology push and market pull within pre-product development. In: Arnold H., Erner M., Möckel P., Schläffer C. (eds) Applied technology and innovation management (145-156). Springer.
Rogers, E. M. (1983). Diffusion of innovations. The Free Press.
Teece, D. J. (1986). Profiting from technological innovation: implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy. Elsevier Science Publishers.
Umair, S. (2020). Mobile Devices and smart gadgets in medical sciences. IGI Global.
Vakhnenko, H. (2020). 7 Reasons why your pharmacy needs an app: Pharmacy app development.

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