A script solution


Fred IT has been chosen as a winner in innovation for its WhatsApp prescription solution, with trials now in the works

Fred IT Group is one of five winners of the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) Innovation Challenge, for its solution that enables Australians to easily access their prescriptions electronically via WhatsApp.

WhatsApp is a Facebook-owned messaging app that allows users to send text and voice messages, make voice and video calls, and share images, documents, user locations, and other media.

Fred IT Group’s solution leverages the WhatsApp platform, which is utilised by millions of Australians, to provide patients with the ability to seamlessly and easily fulfil their prescriptions.

Their innovation is the first ever use of the WhatsApp platform for prescription dispensing requests via a chatbot in WhatsApp.

Image: Supplied/Fred IT Group

It enables patients who use WhatsApp to request required prescriptions from their Active Script List and have their local pharmacy of choice dispense them for pickup or delivery.

Fred IT Group CEO Paul Naismith told AJP that development is underway for trials of the prototype over the next few months.

Following this, the WhatsApp option will be offered to all pharmacies and connect into the single workflow queue in MedView Flow. Pharmacies can promote this additional option to patients who choose to use WhatsApp to manage prescription dispensing requests.

“The benefit of our solution is that it utilises the existing high levels usage and the secure platform of WhatsApp, which means consumers don’t need to download another app or system to begin fulfilling their prescriptions with their pharmacy of choice,” said Mr Naismith.

“It will great for the millions of Australians who currently use WhatsApp to be able to request their scripts directly from their local pharmacy from an app they use every day.”

He added that WhatsApp’s platform offers end-to-end encryption, which ensures only the consumer and the person they are communicating with – in this instance, the pharmacy – can read what is sent.

For added protection, every message sent has its own unique lock and key. 

“The WhatsApp solution is an option for patients who are comfortable with the privacy of the platform,” he said.

Fred IT Group owns eRx Script Exchange, one of two prescription networks that form the foundation of Australia’s incoming e-prescription model.

The country’s first paperless electronic prescription in primary care was successfully prescribed and dispensed on 7 May this year. Meanwhile, over the past month, electronic prescriptions have been rolled out in specific areas, with the token model to begin from 1 July and the Active Script Lists model to follow afterwards.

ADHA launched the Innovation Challenge to encourage innovators across Australia to come forward with scalable tools and solutions that position us to improve the digital health system.

The other winners of the Innovation Challenge were:

  • Allergy Pal by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
  • The Shared Care, Remote Monitoring and Telehealth Platform by CareMonitor
  • Oculo
  • Disease Tracker by Pen CS

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