Wed, August 10, 2022

in-focus

New all-in-one health services app set to help Thais access healthcare more easily, conveniently


A much-needed all-in-one health services application has been launched to create a comprehensive health and wellness network that aims to make access to medicines and basic consultation easier and more convenient – even for people in far-flung areas.

The Yaphrom application is the result of partnership between application developer Yaphrom and the government and private sector including banks, pharmaceutical firms, local pharmacies and Thailand Post.

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed people’s behaviour and lifestyles, especially in terms of wellness, said Yaphrom Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Sirin Chatvichai. It means people place high importance on healthcare, whether it is for preventive or symptomatic treatment. However, many can’t visit a hospital easily, so they have to look for effective alternatives.

Sirin pointed out that innovation and technology provides people with an easy way to access healthcare services while reducing the risk of infection.

This has given birth to the idea to develop the Yaphrom application so that pharmacies, pharmacists, and patients can be connected easily and promptly, especially people in remote areas who will now be able to access medicine and primary consultation.

“Our ultimate objective is to use technology to support access to medicines following consultation by pharmacists, conveniently, quickly and safely for a better quality of life for all people no matter how far away you are in remote areas,” Sirin said.

Services provided by the Yaphrom app cover health and wellness and treatment of basic ailments under real-time consultation between the pharmacy and patients who need quality medicine. They can access treatment via messaging, voice chat or video call, as well as a central Pharmacist Call Centre that helps answer customers’ calls and sends orders to the nearest pharmacy. An added advantage is a geolocation system, which finds nearby pharmacies.

The company will gradually launch various service systems through the year to maximise the potential of the Yaphrom app to create better healthcare and wellness.

“Our application is different from other service providers as we emphasise cutting-edge technology and artificial intelligence-enabled interactivity systems, providing more responsive services such as preliminary symptom analysis (Yaphrom Primacy Care), a call centre for pharmacists, a pharmacy locating system (geolocation), a Drug Allergy / Drug Interaction Alert System and a Drug Notification System,” she explained.

Meanwhile, users can consult with pharmacists via messaging, voice call or video call. All treatment history will be recorded and strongly protected, Sirin promised.

The application is multi-language – Thai, English, Chinese and Burmese – responding to both Thais and foreigners living in Thailand.

Furthermore, the app also offers family counselling, a prescription system, standardised medicine transportation, and a storage system.

To add to this, pharmaceutical companies stand ready to deliver the required products and medicines to pharmacies, while a B2B system is on hand for purchasing medicine from the manufacturer, beside a smart POS (point of sale) pharmacy system.

Yet another system supports data storage as evidence when consultation is provided 24 hours a day.

Yaphrom currently has more than 5,000 pharmacy stores in its geolocation mapping. Key partners include pharmacies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, e-commerce companies such as OCC under Saha Pathanapibul Group, logistics service providers such as Thailand Post, and financial services providers such as Krung Thai Bank that has developed an online payment system under the application to help customers pay instantly for medicines and services.

The bank is also prompted to provide loans for business partners in the form of digital supply chain financing so that pharmacies have working capital when ordering and purchasing products and medicines for consumers.

“Within three years, we expect to increase the number of pharmacies in the ecosystem to 10,000 and expand the network by integrating other platforms to increase benefits for customers and entrepreneurs alike. We also expect this application to increase convenience for consumers. It’s like having a drugstore in your hands,” Sirin said.

At present, the medicine market in Thailand is worth THB136.8 billion – hospitals and clinics at THB107.6 billion and medicare products sold through pharmacies at THB29.2 billion. It is estimated the pharmaceutical market would continue to grow by 3-5 per cent this year.

Published : May 25, 2022

By : THE NATION