Quick Summary – With the global pharmacy app development market on the rise, the potential of the pharmaceutical market has gradually risen from just a place to get your medicines and prescriptions to a full-fledged interactive platform for customers, pharmacists, and physicians as well. So, in today’s blog, we shall get you accompanied with yet another new opportunity-ridden market for healthcare apps, I.e, Africa. Today we will talk about the African healthcare market, the opportunities present to develop a pharmacy app at the same time providing you with a technical perspective on how to build a pharmacy app. The factors affecting the cost, and how SyS Creations can play a role of helping hand.
The continent of opportunity and growth for pharma and patients. Yes! As we embark on our journey of pharmacy app development in Africa, we thought to stop and give the untamed experience of the African continent.
Don’t worry, it’s not a travel blog. And we still are the industry’s best Healthcare IT experts. But, today we just wanted to open with a flair. So, getting back to the point of discovering the two ends of Africa and the need for healthcare apps in the market, and why they need pharmacy apps in the African continent.
According to Frost and Sullivan market research studies, Africa has the fastest-growing and second-largest market in mobile phones. Thus, leading to the boom of demand in the healthcare app market. With countries like South Africa, Ghana, and Nigeria leading the pack in terms of market penetration and investments. From just $4.7 billion to $28.5 billion in a decade, the jump is tremendous.
Healthcare app market in Africa – The market with the potential to grow with every blink
From 2013 to 2017 – in less than a decade – the pharmaceutical development market saw exponential growth. The trend will further continue as the projections estimate the market to grow above people’s expectations.
Typically in the US, you would visit a pharmacy or order from the app to purchase drugs, cosmetics, sundry, OTC, or pick up some prescription.
By contrast, a person in the African sub-continent says Nigeria would typically go to a pharmacy principally addressing a healthcare concern. The pharmacists would not only fill the prescriptions. But, provide the same prescription after a brief consultation with the individual.
Now just imagine, the people in Africa can get all of that plus, system-wide healthcare services such as clinician consultation, availability of medicines as the online pharmacy markets are generally integrated creating abundant availability.
At the same time, the World Health Organisation has said that pharmacy app development has the potential to decrease financial and physical burden which is generally associated with transportation to and of healthcare facilities.
With less than 50% accessibility of modern health facilities and 80% dependence on public health systems. A pharmacy/healthcare app can create a revolution.
Apart from the patients, these apps can help Doctors and policymakers to use the data shared on the pharmacy apps to make better informed in-person and system-wide medical decisions.
The hotspot of digital health- Why Africa need pharmacy apps?
The Homo sapiens’ birth-continent carries one-quarter of the global illness burden, yet it pays just 1% of global health spending and employs only 3% of global health employees.
According to the WHO, locations with more than one physician for every 1,000 patients are uncommon.
The improvement for healthcare has come from the most unexpected places. It comes from disruptive technologies which use out-of-box heads rather than the abundance of resources.
You cannot always visit your physician to renew a prescription or place an order of your medication to your pharmacist and return to collect them. As the nearest one would be 100 miles away. A Pharmacy app with telemedicine features would be like finding Mirage in the desert.
Not just that, in the past five years, Nigeria’s National Foods and Drug Administration destroyed almost $10 million of fake/counterfeiting drugs. The numbers are from just one country and think about the whole continent.
Thus, the opportunity for a pharmacy app that can regulate, authenticate the supply of drugs. One such example was the FD-detector app in Africa. But, it again is not efficient in regulation with drug administrative laws and lacks AI counterfeit recognition which we can do for you as SyS Creations is an expert in health IT solutions. And our prior experience in developing apps of such a nature.
Healthcare apps that are saving millions of lives in Africa
The section for pharmacy app development in Nigeria and Lagos is in absolute abundance with the recent emergence of digitization in the African continent. But, some players are trying their best to save lives while using basic technology.
It authenticates and verifies a medication’s expiration date by scanning its barcode. The app was built by five Nigerian adolescent girls, whose idea won the 2018 Technovation Challenge – an international competition in which girls from all over the globe learn how to become technology leaders and entrepreneurs.
The problem is less than 2% of the medication prescribed in Africa is produced within the continent. Thus, giving birth to such an app.
The virtual pharmacy for unused medicines. The startup in Dakar, Senegal Adama Kane established JokkoSante, a virtual community pharmacy, after seeing the enormous number of outdated medications held in family medicine chests.
Adama lets any user register (for free) as a member who may make deposits, withdrawals, loans, and buy medications by utilizing a secure virtual platform and a practical application adaptable to all sorts of phones.
The South-Africa-based app that helps people communicate with their doctors through a phone-based app. Doctors are available 24Hrs a day and usually respond within an hour.
Currently, available in more than 10 African countries. The app provides free essential healthcare information which is daily updated.
It is a software-based application used by pharmaceutical retailers and users to verify the authenticity of drugs. Creating a shortcode on the package of product with the help of different pharmaceuticals the partnership eventually helps in fighting counterfeit medications.
Codes are typed in a simple text message and a message is sent to verify the authenticity of the product. mPedigree has helped in restoring the faith of the people in the previously ruptured healthcare system.
Drones delivering medications and supplies. A California-based start-up that helped the Rwandans to get vaccines, medications, blood, and health supplies to remote hospitals and clinics.
The user sends a text and receives a text saying the zip has been discharged. You walk outside and get whatever essential medication or supply you ordered.
Claimed by the Zipline, the accuracy is extremely high and they can deliver into the mailbox approximately 3 parking spaces size.
Diversity of best pharma apps that can be developed for the African Market
In the above section, we created a complete understanding of medical facilities and issues related to them in the African continent. Whether it is the unavailability of medication, counterfeit drugs, or urbanization, and increasing healthcare capacity.
Thus, depending upon these curricula of diversification, we can develop types of pharma apps for the African market.
These apps are typically designed to help in providing supporting tools to local brick and mortar pharmacy stores. It can assist in med organization, drug notifications, automatic & real-time updates of clinical charts, medical calculators, up-to-date medicine reminders, and alerts.
It helps pharmacies, and pharmacists in inventory management, order management, Prescription checking, managing shipment and delivery, complaint management, and tracking all with the help of technologies such as AI and ML, RPA, and IoT.
The regular mobile drug store in your palms. These apps help users to place medicine orders, buy healthcare and OTC products, book lab tests, In-app payments, prescription refills (by uploading paper prescriptions as well), drug information, substitute suggestions in case of unavailability, and online consultations with doctors and pharmacists.
These are the applications with the most thorough descriptions of medicines. Because all of the essential information is maintained in one location, the technique is extremely handy.
Simple navigation, the ability to customize, as well as comprehensive data on medications. You can use features such as camera search, voice search, and offline mode database support, etc.
According to the African health stats website availability of physicians per 10,000 of the population is extremely low with an average of 1.22 per 10,000 people.
In such a case, an app of medical reference can be a boon. As it includes a list of diagnoses, symptoms of diseases, answers to popular medical queries, description of drugs, and methods of treatment.
Even though it cannot replace doctors, it can very well assist the limited available clinicians in making faster diagnoses and provide care. Constantly updated databases, interaction checkers, audiovisual aid in your local language for generating better understanding can even assist pharmacists.
As we know in Africa the role of a pharmacist is more than that of a medicine seller.
Build your pharmacy app in Africa by following these steps- A successful venture
The process of pharmacy app development in Africa is quite intricate. It needs to be detailed and followed thoroughly to create a well rhythmically structured app. Thus, with the target audience in mind which is quite huge in this case. We curated an exclusive process of development.
Study Your Market
he African continent is quite big in terms of area and population. Bifurcate your target market and read what it demands. What do they expect from the app, how do they want to use it?
Thus, providing you with a lucrative opportunity by offering something desired and new.
Analyze and have a detailed discussion with technical and design experts like SyS Creations after you have finalized the best suitable model. Make feature lists and have every intricate specification handy. They will act as a roadmap and will guide you throughout your development journey of a pharmacy app.
Producing and releasing a testing version or a beta version of your app can prove to be a real-time success for your original app. As it is released over a short period helping in generating crucial feedback. Saving cost and time and building a better-liked product.
Simple UX & Attractive UI
A successful pharmacy delivery app must have an intuitive and appealing design that is sensitive to the most UX/UI trends in the market, as well as a user-friendly platform that allows users to easily navigate the app.
Compliance & Data Protection Regulations
Data security is of utmost importance in any healthcare app. As your app deals with sensitive information such as personal health information, payment credentials, etc, it must be compliant with the rules and regulations within the region.
In this case, one needs to understand the regulatory laws and requirements of every sub-continent existing in Africa.
If you are building a pharma app in a place like Africa this is of utmost importance. Because there are places with very limited access to technology. So, building the server-side of the application can be quite a task. But don’t worry, we always have solutions and answers.
Maintenance & Testing
Testing your product to eliminate bugs, frequent crashes, slow loading time, technical problems, and any other such tech-based issue that might cause your app to fall behind. Furthermore, you must have specialists like SyS Creations who will continually upgrade/add features based on customer input, market developments, and so forth.
Just developing the app isn’t enough, with terrain so rigid and landmass so massive. You need to make sure the visibility of the app is created for users and download it.
The cost and factors involved in the development of an online pharmacy app in Africa
To be honest, the cost of developing a pharmacy app depends on several factors.
Such as app development time, app development platform, app features, development company’s location, and other resources available at hand.
Thus, it is difficult for medical app development businesses to estimate costs without first knowing the project parameters.
Moreover, the most important factors that influence the cost of an app are the features. As the advanced features rise the cost of the whole app increases in general.
Other factors include the type of app you are developing. There are three major types of apps- Native app, Hybrid apps, and Web apps.
The cost increases and decreases depending upon the user coverage area on different platforms in each type.
You are looking for 3rd party integration for some of your customized features using APIs. This will raise the cost of your app.
The type of tech stack you use (Native or cross-platform, AWS, Python, Google, MailChimp integration, etc.) and whether or not using advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can also affect the cost of your app.
How can we help you build a pharmacy app for the African market?
The answer to your question is quite simple. Our well-curated and structured process of 6D’s for the execution of your projects.
We are a 7-year young company that has been catering to only healthcare-specific IT solutions since our inception. To serve the healthcare industry and provide feasible solutions to every individual and organization in need.
We understand the demographics of a continent like Africa are varied and richly different in every country. Thus, our focused team of Healthcare IT experts makes sure to reiki every objective and subjective matter and factor that will be involved or influenced while developing your Pharmacy app.
Well, we’re sure your journey to the African continent through the vehicle of the pharmacy app development will be successful. Let’s connect.