Innovative technology is continuing to change every aspect of our lives, from the way we interact with friends to the way we get our dinner. So is it any wonder that the next time we pay the doctor a visit, that experience may also take an unexpected technological turn?
Consider how the popularity of self-service customer service is rapidly transforming the field of healthcare worldwide.
Self-service pharmacy kiosks are sprouting up across the popular U.S. drugstore chain Walgreens, as customers begin to use the devices provided by Canadian company MedAvail, which link users directly to a pharmacist. Simply scan in your prescription and the virtual dispenser fills it with the correct medication and dosage stocked in the kiosk. Add to the mix of technology-driven medical care new technologies such as “embeddables” (which includes, for example, devices worn just under the skin for the management of insulin levels), electronic prescriptions, and self-regulating pill bottles that beep and flash when it’s time for your next dosage, and it seems like soon you’ll be able to do everything but perform your own surgery.
At the U.K. pharmacy Boots, you can use their online clinic to get prescriptions for acne, hair loss, and smoking cessation without ever seeing a live doctor or pharmacist. Simply log onto the website, choose your ailment, and go through an online consultation. Similarly, SuperDrug in the U.K. has an online doctor service through which they offer prescription medication to “take the hassle out of visiting your doctor…for embarrassing moments.” Like what? Well, things like chlamydia treatment, erectile dysfunction management, and tests for STDs. Just complete a series of questions about the ailment and your medical history, and a doctor will assess the form and prescribe medication, which can then be shipped to you with one-day delivery. Of course, should your medication arrive late or not at all, both Boots and SuperDrug offer a variety of traditional ways to contact customer service.