From food and grocery delivery to having a tradie turn up to fix the kitchen sink, the steady rise of on-demand services in Australia over the last few years can often make it feel like the concept is ubiquitous.
But as it turns out, you can’t – yet – have quite everything delivered to your door with the tap of a smartphone screen, something Brisbane pharmacist Joe Zhou realised in running a handful of pharmacies.
Here he noticed a significant demand for deliveries, but given there was no official, streamlined process, most deliveries were done as a favour for customers or at the discretion of the pharmacy. Eventually, he decided to do something to create that streamlined process.
The result is startup MyMedKit, founded by Zhou, Mena Theodorou, and Ting Wang with the aim of simplifying healthcare. Customers can order over the counter products or fill their prescription from the app and have it delivered to their door.
As Zhou put it, “People should be able to access medicines while sick at home with a touch of a button.”
It’s been a long road to launch: Zhou began approaching app development companies in mid-2016, but was eventually dissuaded from outsourcing development by the cost.
He began instead to look for business partners with software development skills, and brought on Wang and Theodorou.
“Our concept is simple and easy to understand – healthcare to your door – which means everyone was able to focus on the one task which made all this possible,” Zhou said.
Similar to your favourite food delivery app, the app works by allowing customers to place an order and select a convenient delivery time. The pharmacy, in turn, receives the order, and when ready hands it over to the assigned driver.
Customers can then follow the arrival of their driver with real time tracking, with MyMedKit delivering from 9am to 11pm, seven days a week.
According to Zhou, the startup has found many of its early adopters are young mums, who find it particularly hard to get out and go to the pharmacy when they have a sick child.
To leverage this base, it has partnered with Brisbane’s Mater Hospital to deliver its baby products in return for cross promotion, and has run promotional campaigns for baby formula.
Getting the other key side of the marketplace, the pharmacies, on board is the next key step; a couple of big chains are in sight, with Zhou saying the startup has met with Pharmacy Alliance and Amcal to explore opportunities. Zhou believes the pitch is simple for pharmacies: MyMedKit increases customer retention and provides pharmacies with a new revenue stream.
There are, however, a number of solutions in the market covering one aspect or another of the online pharmacy idea.
Some, like Medadvisor and ScalaMed, focus on enabling customers to keep their prescriptions on file and manage their medication, while PharmacyPal and Tonic allow for customers to fill their prescription through the app and then either pick it up or have it delivered.
However, Zhou believes MyMedKit has the advantage because it delivers after hours and “[offers] a better solution for pharmacies that come on board”. Given scale is everything for marketplaces, getting more pharmacists on board than the other players to ensure the service can actually deliver on its promise of convenience to more customers in more areas will be crucial.
As it looks to grow throughout Australia in 2019, Zhou said the goal for MyMedKit is to ensure it’s providing value for its customers.
“Our focus is all on the customer experience and our core focus is to have the customer fully satisfied with our product we know we are solving a problem,” he said.
Image: the MyMedKit team. Source: Supplied.