Online pharmacies: A new frontier in digital healthcare

As featured in CNA Lifestyle

Glovida-Rx, Singapore’s first consumer-centric e-pharmacy, aims to make healthcare more accessible with free consultation on WhatsApp, affordably priced medication and dedicated care from qualified pharmacists.

Geraldine Lim and Winthrop Wong
Co-founders Geraldine Lim (left) and Winthrop Wong established Glovida-Rx with the goal of simplifying the medication management process for patients and caregivers. Photos: Glovida-Rx

In Singapore, pharmacies are often seen as extensions of health and beauty outlets in shopping malls. When locals feel unwell, they typically turn to general practitioners for treatment.

According to Mr Winthrop Wong, co-founder, Glovida-Rx, the full range of services provided by pharmacists and pharmacies is not widely known. “During my experience as a pharmacist in Australia, we served as the first point of contact for the community and played a crucial role in addressing primary healthcare needs,” he said.

With a focus on bridging healthcare gaps, Mr Wong spearheaded the creation of Glovida-Rx, alongside co-founder Geraldine Lim. Glovida-Rx is registered with the Health Sciences Authority and backed by WellChem Pharmaceuticals, an industry stalwart with a 50-year history. Established as a customer-centric e-pharmacy, Glovida-Rx is designed to make the purchase of medications more accessible, convenient and affordable while dispensing high standards of care.

WHAT DOES AN E-PHARMACY OFFER?

“With the increasing digitalisation of services, launching an e-pharmacy like Glovida-Rx seemed like the next logical step for the future of healthcare in Singapore,” said Mr Wong.

At Glovida-Rx, each consultation is tailored to the individual’s health needs. Patients begin their journey by connecting with a pharmacist via WhatsApp, phone call or email. Beyond addressing the immediate health concern, Glovida-Rx’s complimentary consultation includes patient education. This component enables patients to better understand their condition and the management options available, which could optimise health outcomes.

GRx Package
Glovida-Rx offers same-day delivery for medication orders made before 3pm.

Post-consultation, patients have access to a broad range of medications. This includes over-the-counter remedies such as paracetamol and activated charcoal, pharmacy-only medications like antihistamines and mild steroid creams, as well as prescription medications from registered doctors. If a patient requires a prescription, Glovida-Rx facilitates a connection to a partner doctor. Once the prescription is digitally validated, the patient can complete the purchase and benefit from same-day delivery for orders made before 3pm.

Mr Wong noted that Glovida-Rx is commonly used by patients managing minor ailments such as coughs and colds, as well as those needing to refill prescriptions for chronic conditions like gout and hypertension. Additionally, the e-pharmacy extends its services to encompass women’s and men’s health, offering a discreet avenue for procuring items such as contraceptive pills and medications to treat hair loss. Parents with young children also benefit from virtual pharmacist consultations, which provide them with convenient access to medication and healthcare advice, even while on the move.

Mr Wong highlighted that Glovida-Rx provides assistance comparable to in-person visits, eliminating the need to wait in line at brick-and-mortar clinics or pharmacies.

ACCESSIBLE HEALTHCARE FOR ALL

Despite the growing popularity of telemedicine, Singapore’s elderly often hesitate to use virtual healthcare services as they may require a level of tech savviness not all seniors possess. For example, reports indicate that 87 per cent of baby boomers prefer in-person medical care. Nevertheless, the Smart Nation initiative positions telemedicine platforms as a critical strategy to support the medical needs of a super-aged population, where one in four citizens will be over 65 by 2030.

GRx Pharmacist
Patients can conveniently connect with a Glovida-Rx pharmacist via phone calls.

Aligning with this objective while closing the technology gap, Ms Lim underscored that Glovida-Rx is designed to meet the healthcare needs of older users and their caregivers. By utilising familiar communication methods such as WhatsApp, phone calls and email, Glovida-Rx removes the barrier of having to download and navigate unfamiliar mobile apps or websites.

Glovida-Rx also maintains affordable and transparent pricing to ensure that patients can access the care they need amid the rising cost of living. “As an online business, we can save on high retail rental costs, allowing us to pass these savings on to customers,” shared Ms Lim.

Overall, Mr Wong and Ms Lim are confident that Glovida-Rx offers a progressive model that can bolster the resilience of Singapore’s healthcare system well into the future. Said Ms Lim: “E-pharmacies can help alleviate congestion in clinics and hospitals, allowing healthcare professionals to focus on more critical cases.”

Contact Glovida-Rx’s qualified pharmacists at 8101 555 to enquire about your medication and healthcare needs. Learn more about Glovida-Rx.

To view the full article, head over to CNA Lifestyle.

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