|A Medigo shipper delivers medicine to a customer in HCM City. — Photo courtesy of Medigo|
HCM CITY — It’s every mother’s nightmare. Late at night, child with a high-temperature and no pharmacy open to buy any medication.
That’s exactly the situation single mother Lê Thị Bích found herself in.
“That was during the pandemic’s social distancing period and I was alone,” said Bích who lives in HCM City’s District 12.
But that’s to the power of social media, a solution was quickly found.
“I asked for help on my Facebook and my friends introduced me Medigo app. Then I got connected to a nearby pharmacy which was still open at midnight, received consultation from a pharmacist and had medicine delivered to my house.”
The app allows people in HCM City and Hà Nội to order medicine or upload their prescriptions to connect directly with a pharmacist who can offer a consultation or have medicine delivered in less than 30 minutes.
Lê Hữu Hà, founder of Medigo, a one-year-old start-up in the healthcare sector, once experienced the same difficulty as Bích’s when his relatives were in urgent need of medicine at night.
Hà thought he could create an app that helps parents solve the problem.
Medigo app was launched in early 2019 in HCM City and expanded the network in Hà Nội early this year.
Via the app, pharmacists and doctors will offer consultations in terms of doses and have the medicine shipped to customers in the shortest time no matter it is daylight or mid-night.
Medigo selects pharmacy partners based on their experience and standards.
“They must adopt Good Pharmacy Practices standards of the health ministry, have large stock and should open until midnight or even overnight,” said Hà.
About 100 drugstores in HCM City and Hà Nội have so far collaborated with Medigo.
Phùng Vinh Hiển, a resident living in HCM City, said: “I happened to know Medigo on Google when I was trying to search for drug stores opened at night.
“I downloaded the app and it took me two minutes to find a drug store near my house. After a while, I received a call from a pharmacist.”
Pharmacist Bùi Văn Tuấn, owner of a pharmacy on Nguyễn Oanh Street, Gò Vấp District, HCM City said he had been busier since he collaborated with Medigo.
“At first I just thought I would give it a try,” he said.
“After several months, sales at my store increased. Customers buy not only drugs but also bandages and even food through Medigo app. I started to learn more about new products to provide consultations to customers.”
For Hà the founder, positive feedbacks from customers are a motivation for his Medigo team to improve their service.
“Although Medigo is a young business, customers can completely trust in the service quality. They can give feedback on pharmacies and consultation quality to our customer service channel,” he told Việt Nam News.
“I believe that online medicine sale service is now an essential demand. When it is combined with consultations of pharmacists and doctors, customers will give priority to the service.”
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, more people tend to select online healthcare services including online pharmacies, remote diagnosing and teleconsulting.
A number of start-ups that apply technology in healthcare in Việt Nam and around the world received huge investment in the first months of the year in spite of COVID-19.
Experts predicted that the pandemic was a golden time for healthcare start-ups.
Hà said: “The demand of using online healthcare services has increased during the pandemic. Compared to start-ups in other sectors which saw decrease of 50 to 70 per cent in the first months of the year due to COVID-19, Medigo was lucky to witness growth.
“It is an opportunity and also a responsibility of healthcare start-ups to improve service quality to meet market demand.
“The core value we look for is gaining customers’ trust. The pandemic is temporary and will be over. What remains is trust from customers. The most important thing is the services satisfy customers or not.”
Medigo looks to become an app connecting customers with doctors for healthcare check-ups and treatment as telemedicine is the future plan of the start-up.
“We expect that customers will get connected with doctors, clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, testing labs through online consultation. They will get the treatment therapies while still staying at home.” — VNS