Online Pharmacy App Development: Features, Process, Cost

In the evolving landscape of healthcare, the emergence of online pharmacy apps has sparked a revolution. These digital platforms not only cater to the growing demands of modern consumers but also present a unique opportunity for pharmacies to reimagine their services. 

In this digital age, where convenience is king, the shift towards online medicine procurement and doorstep delivery has become a fundamental preference. 

However, it’s not just the customers who are benefiting; pharmacies are harnessing these apps to not only streamline their operations but also to establish themselves as trusted healthcare partners in the online realm, thus opening up new revenue streams.

The online pharmacy market is clearly on the rise. From $18.5 billion in 2022 to $68 billion in 2020, and it’s projected to reach $32.8 billion by 2030. That’s a whopping increase!

The COVID-19 pandemic has made us all very used to shopping on our mobile phones and receiving contactless deliveries promptly. We now expect the same level of service from healthcare providers as we do from other businesses. According to Ernst & Young, 75% of customers want this same level of service from healthcare providers.

Pharmacy app development is an excellent way to expand your business and establish a digital presence among your target audience. This article will explore the development of pharmacy apps from various perspectives.

What is a pharmacy app?

An online pharmacy app, often referred to as a medicine app, is a software application designed to provide various services related to pharmaceuticals and healthcare.

These apps are typically developed with the aim of offering convenient solutions for managing medications, accessing health information, delivering medicines, and interacting with pharmacies.

How does an online pharmacy app work?

Online pharmacy app development offers a straightforward and convenient way to access essential medications and healthcare products. 

Users begin by registering on the app, providing their basic information and, if needed, uploading a prescription for verification. 

Once registered, they can browse the app’s catalog of medicines, complete with detailed information and customer reviews. 

After selecting the desired items, users add them to their virtual cart and proceed to checkout, where they confirm their order, provide a delivery address, and choose a payment method. 

Payment options often include credit/debit cards, digital wallets, and even cash on delivery in some cases. 

After payment, users receive an order confirmation with essential details. Many apps also offer order tracking, allowing users to monitor the delivery status. 

Overall, these online pharmacy apps simplify the process of ordering medications, providing convenience and peace of mind for users’ healthcare needs.

What is the need for a pharmacy app in the pharmaceutical industry?

Pharmacy app development serves as a crucial innovation in the pharmaceutical industry for several compelling reasons. 

Firstly, it addresses the evolving needs and preferences of modern consumers who increasingly value convenience and accessibility. In an era of digitalization, people expect the same level of comfort from healthcare services as they do from other online retailers. 

Pharmacy apps fulfill this expectation by allowing users to order medications and healthcare products from the comfort of their homes, reducing the need for physical visits to brick-and-mortar pharmacies.

Additionally, these apps facilitate better medication management. They often provide reminders for prescription refills, dosage schedules, and potential drug interactions, helping users stay on top of their healthcare regimens. 

This not only enhances patient adherence but also contributes to better health outcomes.

Moreover, pharmacy apps enable pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies to expand their reach and serve a wider customer base, including those in remote or underserved areas. 

They can also engage with customers more effectively through personalized recommendations and health-related content.

Furthermore, the data generated by these apps can be valuable for pharmacists and healthcare providers, aiding in patient care and contributing to research and development efforts. 

In essence, medicine apps bridge the gap between traditional healthcare practices and the digital age, offering a win-win solution for both consumers and the pharmaceutical industry.

What are the types of pharmacy apps?

Before embarking on building an online pharmacy app, it’s essential to conduct a comprehensive examination of the existing medicine applications within the market. 

This analysis serves as a vital preparatory step, assisting you in determining the optimal direction for crafting your unique product. Additionally, it sheds light on crucial considerations during the healthcare application development process.

1. Marketplace Applications

One prevalent category is the pharmacy marketplace app, wherein you gather a variety of pharmaceutical products from numerous suppliers under one virtual roof. 

Here, prospective buyers can peruse and place orders for their required medications. The chief advantage of this aggregator-style app is its freedom from constraints tied to specific pharmacies or drug selections. 

You have the flexibility to collaborate with any pharmacy chain of your choice. 

Nevertheless, this approach demands that you build all essential logistics, data aggregation systems, and mechanisms for compiling drug information from the ground up.

2. Online Store Applications

In contrast to aggregator apps, online store applications are affiliated with a particular pharmacy store or chain. 

Such apps offer a more limited range of available drugs when compared to aggregator counterparts. 

However, they provide well-honed, streamlined processes that have already demonstrated their efficacy within the pharmacy chain context. 

The benefits of these online pharmacy apps encompass well-established supply chains, comprehensive drug databases, and established connections with pharmacy experts.

3. Store Chains Applications

Another category encompasses apps designed for managing processes within pharmaceutical companies or individual pharmacies. These applications can integrate valuable functionalities such as intelligent digital catalog integration, logistical tools, and analytical settings.

4. Handbook Applications

An alternative avenue is the development of handbook applications, which cater to pharmacists, patients, doctors, or employees of pharmaceutical firms seeking comprehensive drug information in a single, easily accessible location. 

For instance, such an app may feature an up-to-date compilation of all medications approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. 

Another invaluable feature of handbook apps is an immunization calendar that notifies users, whether medical professionals or patients, of their vaccination schedules. It’s imperative for this app to offer user-friendly navigation and an advanced search system, ensuring efficient interaction with regularly updated databases.

What are the must-have features of an online pharmacy mobile app?

The pharmacy app development needs to have specific features that cater to the needs of the business and meet the expectations of users. Let’s consider some of the most important and common functions:

1. Login & Registration

In a pharmacy app, users must create an account or login before they can use its services. This step is particularly crucial when dealing with prescription medications. 

During the registration process, users may be asked for information like their age, gender, and health-related questions. 

This data is vital, especially when the app offers medicines with age or health restrictions. 

For example, certain medications may not be suitable for individuals under 18 or those with specific medical conditions. 

It’s important to strike a balance between collecting necessary user data and respecting their privacy, ensuring that the app complies with privacy standards such as HIPAA.

2. Search and Filtering

One of the primary functions of the medicine app is to help users find the right medicine or suitable alternatives easily. Advanced search filters are essential for providing precise search results. Additionally, the search function should be user-friendly, offering features like suggesting similar drug names when users make typographical errors in their search queries.

3. Cart and Payment

The app should include a shopping cart feature for users to add items to their virtual cart before making a purchase. 

To accommodate various user preferences, multiple payment options should be available, such as credit cards (e.g., VISA, Mastercard), online wallet transfers, and mobile payment methods. Users should also have the option to save their card details, streamlining the payment process for future transactions.

4. Notifications

Keeping users informed about their orders is crucial for an online pharmacy app. 

Push notifications can be used to update users on order status changes, provide medication reminders, and offer discounts or special promotions. 

To enhance the user experience, the app should allow users to customize their notification settings or opt out of notifications altogether according to their preferences.

5. Contact or Chat-bot

Users should have the means to easily contact the pharmacy or courier to inquire about medications, seek assistance, or verify order information. 

A basic chatbot feature can be implemented to handle common inquiries efficiently. For more advanced communication, consider incorporating telemedicine capabilities, allowing users to consult with medical professionals via text or calls through the app.

6. Drug Information and Comparison

To promote informed decisions, the app should offer comprehensive details about drugs, including information about the manufacturer and drug composition. 

Additionally, it’s beneficial to include a feature that allows users to check the compatibility of different medications, as some drugs should not be taken together.

7. Barcode Scanning

A barcode scanning feature simplifies the user experience by enabling users to scan barcodes on medication packaging. 

This feature provides instant access to essential information, making it easier for users to learn more about specific drugs or quickly reorder them.

8. Order History

Allowing users to access their order history within the app is a valuable feature. This functionality enables users to review past purchases and track their treatment history based on previous prescriptions. 

It simplifies record-keeping for both patients and healthcare professionals, enhancing the overall utility of the app.

How to develop an online pharmacy app? Step-by-step process

If you’re ready to commence the development of your pharmacy app, consider the following steps:

1. Market Analysis and Competitor Research 

Your journey into pharmacy app development begins with a careful examination of the market and a study of your competitors. Identify popular apps in the same domain and take inspiration from them. 

Learn from their user experience (UX) strategies, features, and valuable insights. This phase is essential for setting clear product goals and aligning your focus with the needs of your target audience.

2. Feature Definition 

We recommend initiating your healthcare app development with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) – a basic version of your pharmacy app development enables cost-effective testing of your concept in the market. 

Compile a list of key features gathered from your market analysis to shape the vision for your product.

3. Developer Selection

There are three primary avenues for finding app developers for your startup: outsourcing, freelancing, and in-house hiring. 

Outsourcing is often a preferred choice as it can save you both time and resources. 

Opt for a service provider with relevant expertise, preferably a mobile app development company experienced in similar projects who understands the nuances and limitations of healthcare application development.

4. UI/UX Design

Your app’s user interface (UI) should be intuitive, ensuring that users can easily navigate and place orders for medications. 

Drawing insights from case studies, adopt best practices from other online medicine apps to create a user-friendly design.

5. Coding

When embarking on building pharmacy app, consider starting with the mobile version. Mobile platforms are typically more favored for ordering medicines due to their convenience. 

To maximize your reach, consider developing the app for both Android and iOS platforms. Using a technology stack like React Native can be a sensible choice, as it allows you to build a mobile app with a single codebase for both Android and iOS, offering cost-efficiency while maintaining reliability.

6. Release and Maintenance

Once your app is launched in the market, it’s crucial to actively analyze user feedback and continuously enhance the app in subsequent releases. In the realm of pharmacy app development, proper maintenance is of paramount importance. 

Ensure that your app remains up-to-date and secure, paying close attention to essential properties such as regular updates and robust user data protection. This ongoing commitment to quality and user satisfaction is pivotal for the success of your medicine app.

What is the cost of building a pharmacy application?

Several factors will play a pivotal role in determining the ultimate cost of developing a pharmaceutical app:

  • Complexity and Feature Count: The intricacy and extent of features integrated into the app will significantly impact the overall expenditure.
  • Hiring Approach, Project Timeline, and Developer Hourly Rate: The method of hiring developers, the project’s timeframe, and the hourly rate of developers engaged in the project will contribute to the overall cost.
  • Platform Multiplicity: The number of platforms for which the app is intended (e.g., iOS, Android) will also influence the app development cost.

For instance, building a minimum viable product (MVP) version of the app could commence at $120,000 and potentially escalate to $210,000. The final cost will be contingent on the extent of functionality to be incorporated into both the app and web portal.

What are the top 5 pharmacy apps in Dubai?

In the journey of medicine app development, now let us introduce you to the top 5 pharmacy apps in Dubai.

1. Medicina

Medicina, a distinguished healthcare network in the UAE, has been serving the community since its inception in 2013. 

With a commitment to holistic well-being, Medicina has created a reputation for offering a caring and cohesive experience to its customers. 

This goes beyond their physical pharmacies to extend into their innovative online platform, medicinaonline.ae, where patients can seamlessly manage their healthcare needs.

Key Features

  • A network of 80+ healthcare outlets/pharmacies across the UAE
  • Established in 2013, dedicated to holistic wellness and customer care
  • Online portal, medicinaonline.ae, for prescription uploads, expert advice, and doorstep delivery
  • Extensive product range, including vitamins, home health care, and beauty products
  • Efficient and well-connected delivery system supported by advanced supply chain management

2. Lifepharmacy

Aster Online, the digital arm of Aster Pharmacy, brings over three decades of pharmaceutical retail experience to the online space. 

Positioned as an all-encompassing healthcare destination, Aster Online caters not only to prescription medications but also offers an extensive array of healthcare and wellness products, ranging from curative and nutritive essentials to beauty products and medical devices.

Key Features

  • Over 200 outlets in the UAE, with a history dating back to 1996
  • Pioneering concepts, including Healthcare Hypermarkets and Drive-Thru pharmacies
  • The online store, lifepharmacy.com, features an extensive range of healthcare products, including prescription medicines, vitamins, sports nutrition, and more

3. BinSina

BinSina is a prominent pharmacy chain in the UAE, with a rapidly expanding network of 120+ stores. Established in 1965, it boasts a 50-year legacy of expertise in health, wellness, and nutrition. 

It is dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle by offering a wide range of products, including pharmacy and healthcare essentials, vitamins, personal care, skin care, beauty, and cosmetics.

Key Features

  • Over 120 stores across the UAE, with a history dating back to 1965.
  • Diverse product range spanning pharmacy essentials, vitamins, personal care, skin care, beauty, and cosmetics.
  • Commitment to customer needs and selecting the best global brands.

4. Medisouq

Medisouq.com, a brainchild of Biopharma FZE, embarked on its journey in 2017 as a visionary pharma aggregator business. Its mission is to serve customers by creating an ecosystem that simplifies access to healthcare products and services under a single, convenient umbrella. 

This innovative platform not only connects users to local pharmacies but also offers health guidance and ensures express home delivery within an hour.

Key Features

  • Launched in 2017, Medisouq.com is an initiative of Biopharma FZE
  • An aggregator platform connecting users to local pharmacies and offering health guidance
  • Express home delivery within an hour for healthcare products and services

5. 800 Pharmacy

800 Pharmacy emerges as a licensed and approved pharmacy delivery service offering round-the-clock healthcare product delivery across Dubai and Abu Dhabi. 

Their user-friendly app empowers customers to create personalized health profiles, add insurance and Emirates ID details, upload prescriptions, and select from an extensive range of health and pharmacy products. 

With order tracking, loyalty programs, and continuous availability, 800 Pharmacy ensures accessible and convenient healthcare solutions for all.

Key Features

  • A licensed and approved pharmacy delivery service that operates 24/7 in Dubai and Abu Dhabi
  • A user-friendly mobile app that enables customers to create personalized health profiles, upload prescriptions, and order healthcare products
  • Order tracking, loyalty programs, and continuous availability for unmatched convenience in accessing healthcare products and services

Want to build an online pharmacy app?

After having a comprehensive view of the details of the pharmacy app, it must have been clear so far that pharmacy app development is highly beneficial for medicine delivery, healthcare information, and much more. 

So, to help with the same, Netweb Technologies is the best mobile app development company for you. 

With years of experience building healthcare applications, we have the expertise to deliver a seamless medicine app that is feasible in the modern age world. 

We have also created various healthcare techs like Gotodoctor.ca & CareMESH. Hence, there is no stone unturned by us in this arena.

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