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Dec 22, 2020, 5:49:29 AM

Is Virtual Healthcare Better Than In-Person Visits?

Healthcare should be accessible by everyone. Thanks to the advancement in communication technology, you need not visit your healthcare provider in person every time there is some inconvenience. That means you can book an appointment and get medical consultation from the comforts of your home. Telehealth, Telemedicine, Virtual healthcare, Virtual Medicine are some examples of the interchangeable technical terms used to describe this method of accessing care.

Virtual Healthcare vs In-Person Visits

It has multiple advantages to provide a pleasant experience to both the patients and healthcare workers. Even though Virtual healthcare, Telemedicine is becoming popular globally, we still need to look at some of the disadvantages it might possess. Below is a list of pros and cons that may help answer some of your questions.

Pros of Telehealth

  1. The connection between people in rural areas and healthcare workers

    People from rural areas or any inconvenient location tend to suffer the most due to limited healthcare. There are no proper medical facilities or transportation in these places. Thus, if these people do not receive good healthcare options locally, they can always rely on Telemedicine services and connect to the best Healthcare providers on a national level.

  2. Cost-efficient and time saving

    As per recent studies, it has been proved that virtual visits cost four times lower than in-person visits, which is unfair to the patients who travel to see physicians and doctors in person. Moreover, it consumes a lot of time. However, with Telemedicine, you can pay less and still get quality service. On the part of healthcare providers, they will have more time, and thus they can spend more time with their patients.

  3. Prevents the spread of contagious diseases or germs

    When people visit medical facilities in person, they are at a higher risk of contracting contagious diseases or germs, which in turn might harm some other patient, and the cycle goes on. People with lower immune levels are more vulnerable to this. With the current COVID-19 pandemic going on, this issue has become the primary fear. With Telemedicine, you do not need to worry about this. You can consult your doctor from the safety of your home and receive treatment options if required.

Cons of Telehealth

  1. Technological and electrical glitches

    Quite unbelievable as it may sound, many people still don’t have proper technologies or access to a stable internet connection. They will be at a disadvantage. Moreover, both the provider and the patient should have appropriate devices and an internet connection; if either of them fails to do so due to inclement weather or power outage, the whole consultation is compromised, which is inconvenient for both sides.

  2. Limited assessment of patients

    Doctors can only provide solutions depending on how the patient explains their issues. Clinicians cannot physically assess them to understand them better, which puts them at a disadvantage. They need medical equipment to evaluate the patient and so may ask the patients to visit a nearby clinic in person, which again is a disadvantage for people who have transportation difficulties.

  3. Potential cyber crimes

    As the appointments and consultations are all online, hacking of online data is relatively easy for hackers if the telemedicine company doesn’t have the proper safeguards in place. This poses a huge threat to the security of patient and provider information. If the cyber-criminal hacks into any patient’s accounts, they will get full access to all their medical history and records. Thus, to prevent it, extra security measures are required.

Conclusion

Virtual healthcare through telehealth and telemedicine are gaining popularity as their pros outweigh the cons. Moreover, the disadvantages are fixable, and with a reputable solution, many of them can be eliminated. With Algo medical application, you will get access to both the clinic and pharmacy from the comforts of your home in an all-in-one feature application. Moreover, it is user-friendly and super easy to schedule your first consultation.

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Sep 21, 2021, 11:19:34 AM
How to find a good doctor or medical practitioner online?

The world as a whole is still in the midst of a Pandemic. We are still home-bound, following the rules of social distancing, especially people with comorbidities and pre-existing conditions. The global lock-down brought with it a number of restrictions, changes, and new solutions. As a result, the entire medical fraternity, doctors, practitioners, and pharmacies are rendering their services online, which is now a new normal, but finding a good doctor or a medical practitioner online is still not an easy task.

So, how can a person find a good doctor or a reliable medical practitioner online?

With an expanded array of physicians through a smart device, this is a new challenge that several people, especially senior citizens, struggle with. Here, pharmacy and medical apps can guide you in finding the right a doctor online/medical practitioner online. They are user-friendly and can be easily used by everyone. These apps are becoming very popular in helping patients find a good doctor online and secure an appointment for a teleconsultation. This enables the patient to have doctor consultations in the safety of their homes.

In surveys conducted during and after the Pandemic, results show that over 47% of the people in Canada had opted for online doctor consultation. Before the pandemic, virtual consultations were at a measly 4% of the total doctors consultations. Most users were delighted with the experience, and 65% claimed that their health issue was solved in the virtual consultation. Most of the patients would like to continue to use telemedicine as an option in the future.

9 Steps to help you find a Good Doctor or Medical Practitioner online:

  1. Determine what kind of a doctor you need

    Different ailments need different types of doctors. In fact, in today's day and time, a single condition is also looked after by a team of specialists. For, e.g., a complaint like back pain, who would be the correct doctor to go to first - the primary health care practitioner or an orthopedic consultant, a spine specialist, a physiotherapist? The answer to this would depend on the cause of the pain, which you may or may not be aware of. The first step to finding a good doctor or medical practitioner online is to find out a suitable match for your ailment. Bouncing from one specialist to another may turn out to be an expensive affair. Your insurance may not cover the payment of all the specialists. So, if you are unsure of the kind of specialist you need, please visit a good primary medical practitioner first.

  2. Decide what qualities you are looking for in a doctor

    One of the first things to do would be to put together a list of prerequisites you need in a medical practitioner. For example, would you prefer a person with an individual practice or a person who is a part of a group practice so that you are looked after in case of an emergency? Do you have a specific requirement in terms of the hours of consultation and the hospital attachments of the doctors?

  3. Choose a reliable doctor finder app

    The apps that help serve as a point of connection between the patients and doctors have proven to be very helpful in solving this problem. These help you find the best possible medical practitioner online based on your symptoms, insurance plan, geographical location, etc. The patients should ensure that they are choosing known and reliable service providers.

    A good online doctor or medical practitioner should be trustworthy and can set you at ease by communicating with you. A good medical practitioner takes time to talk to the patient, listen to the health conditions, and find out your normal baseline health. This is a vital part of the consultation process as it helps the doctor come up with the diagnosis, treatment options, and prescription of medicines. Many apps give you multiple options to choose from. It also allows you to review the online doctor's consultations by patients treated by the practitioner to decide and select the best suitable option for yourself.

  4. Compile a List of potentially suitable Doctors

    This list can be generated by asking around. Talk to your family and friends about their doctors. Search doctor finder databases to help you compile a list. Keep the opinions and reviews of family and friends in mind while making a final decision.

  5. Do an Online Search

    Verify the credentials of the Medical Practitioners you have chosen. This information is available on the licensing website. The same website will also give you information about any adverse reports against them by their patients.

  6. Narrowing down the list of Medical Practitioners:

    Check out your list for the following things

    • Insurance: Check whether your insurer approves the doctor or not. Insurance companies often change their panel of consultants. So, make sure that the doctor you choose is on your insurance company's panel.
    • Educational Background: Make sure that the medical practitioner you choose is qualified to solve your ailment.
    • Hospital Affiliation: Check to ensure that the Doctor practices in the hospital in your area that you choose to visit.
    • Clinic Location: It is always convenient to have a doctor in the vicinity and is easily approachable in an emergency.
    • Check out Patient reviews: Most doctor finder databases, hospitals, private practices will have patient reviews that you can check on the internet.
    • New Patient Intake: Make sure the doctor you choose is accepting new patients. This information is usually available on the website of the Medical Practitioner.
  7. Make an appointment

    • Check if the doctor you have chosen is available for an online consultation or not.
    • Ask for the platforms being used for online consultations and for the protocol to be followed.
    • Taking the medical history before the online consultation and providing the instructions after the visit are essential tasks.
  8. Emergency Protocol

    If you are a patient with pre-existing comorbidities, this becomes an important point to consider before choosing your doctor. Checking the hospital attachments of the doctor and ensuring that he is conveniently situated is an important aspect. While regular appointments with the medical practitioner can be online, you need to have an emergency protocol in place.

  9. Trust your instincts

    You, as the patient, have the last word in finding a good doctor who is the correct fit for your personality and your medical problems. It would help if you trusted the medical practitioner to look after your health in a manner that suits you, your lifestyle, and your financial position. When in doubt, it is always a good idea to get a second opinion.

Conclusion

Online doctor consultations are the need of the hour. However, regardless of the mode of consultation, a doctor has to meet and satisfactorily address the patient's medical needs. Therefore, seeing a good doctor or medical practitioner online should be as close to a physical consultation as possible. The statistics indicate continued use of telemedicine. More than two-thirds of Canadians (69%) said that they would continue to use online doctor consultations for their physicians appointments. The patients find the online consultations practical and timesaving, especially for follow-up appointments. The convenience of online consultations with medical practitioners has benefitted the patients and seems to bode well for the future of telemedicine.

Feb 20, 2021, 6:50:00 AM
Everything You Need to Know About Continuous Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills are around the clock contraception method where one pill is all that is needed to prevent unwanted pregnancies. However, it is important to remember that they are only 91%-99% effective and that too if you are compliant with your medication. That means the pill is taken at the same time every day, with no days missed in between. In a nutshell, hormonal contraceptives disrupt the biological and hormonal mechanisms required for a successful pregnancy, thus preventing the fertilization of the egg. The birth control pill is aka "The Pill."

Types of Continuous Birth Control Pills Available in Canada

These are the two categories of birth control pills available in Canada:

  1. Combination Pills:

    They contain estrogen and progestin in the synthetic form. Most pills in a pack are active pills, while a small number of them can be inactive pills. It is not required to take the inactive pills as they are simply placebos; however, some women find them helpful to keep up with their daily routine.

    The types of combination pills available are as follows:

    • Monophasic:: Every package of pills covers a 1-month cycle, and all active pills contain the same amount of hormones.
    • Multiphasic: Package contain pills to cover 1 month, but the active pills have varying amounts of hormones.
    • Extended cycle: These pills are used typically for 13-week cycles. There is 1 week of inactive and 12 weeks of active pills.
  2. Progestin Only Pills

    These pills do not contain any estrogen; instead, the active hormone is progestin. These pills are best suited for women who can't take estrogen due to certain health factors. All pills in a progestin-only pack are active pills.

Brands Available in Canada:

  1. Combination Pills:
    • Aleese
    • Alysena
    • Apri
    • Aviane
    • Loestrin
    • Indayo
    • Yaz
    • Yasmin
  2. Progestin Only pills:
    • Ortho Micronor
    • Movisse

How Do They Work?

Continuous cycle birth control pills, for the most part, work just like hormonal contraception, which contain estrogen and progestin. There are three ways that the pills work to prevent pregnancy:

  1. Ovulation:

    The primary way that the pill works is by prevention of ovulation during the monthly cycle. So, if the ovary does not release an egg, then fertilization cannot occur. The pill also makes it less likely that the fallopian tube will push an egg towards the uterus. By preventing hormone fluctuations during the menstrual cycle, the pill prevents FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone level) from rising. Without FSH availability, ovulation cannot occur.

  2. Cervical Mucus:

    The second way that these pills work to prevent pregnancy is by thickening the cervical mucus. Cervical mucus is the viscous fluid around the opening of the uterus. The pill thus makes the mucus stickier, which reduces the sperm's ability to reach the egg. Under normal conditions, the mucus will get thinner during ovulation, which eases the passage of sperm and provides them a hospitable environment.

  3. Endometrium:

    The third method involves the uterine lining, also called the endometrium. Hormonal contraceptives make the lining thinner, thus making it difficult for a fertilized egg to implant. Without implantation, the egg cannot receive nutrients and blood, which it requires to survive. Normally, the lining thickens during ovulation to allow the fertilized egg to implant and grow.

Side Effects of Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills can have side effects, just like any other medication, and your doctor must consider your past medical history before prescribing them for you. Some common side effects are as follows:

  • Nausea
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headaches
  • Weight gain
  • Decreased Libido
  • Mood fluctuations
  • Spotting or nonscheduled bleeding

It is common for women to experience side effects when first starting a medication. Doctors try to have patient try a medication for three months, after which if the side effects persist, a switch to another type of birth control can be made. An easier way to remember the symptoms is with the acronym ACHES, i.e., Abdominal pain, Chest pain, Headaches (severe), Eye problems (or blurriness), and Swelling.

Benefits of Birth Control Pills:

Continuous cycle pills offer the same non-contraceptive benefits that hormonal contraception does, but they may do more. If you have period-related issues, extended cycle pills can greatly improve your quality of life. They allow you to control the number of periods and how long they last. They could provide relief if you suffer from:

  • Heavy bleeding or menorrhagia
  • Long and frequent periods
  • Painful periods or dysmenorrhea
  • Menstrual-related bloating, breast tenderness, or mood swings.
  • PMDD or PMS
  • A disability making it tougher to use pads
  • Health conditions adversely affected by periods such as migraines or anemia.

Even if you may not have these issues, there are many reasons you may wish to use extended birth control pills such as:

  • Having fewer or shorter periods are more convenient
  • Saving money on costs of pads, tampons, or liners
  • Choosing a more environmentally friendly lifestyle as you will consume fewer period products.
  • It reduced the risk of certain types of cancers.

Conclusion:

As with hormonal contraceptives, continuous cycle pills also require a doctor's prescription. If you have certain medical conditions or contraindications, continuous pills may not be the safest for you to consume. Therefore, it is advised to consult doctors for birth control care before getting on the cycle to prevent any complications.


Feb 12, 2021, 10:45:49 AM
Best Telehealth Services in Canada - Comparison Guide

With the ongoing pandemic, people are heavily dependent on leading telehealth services. To fulfill this need, an abundance of telemedicine service providers is now available for Canadians. From primary health concerns to specialized doctor advice, Canadians can leverage advanced healthcare with the comfort of their mobile devices. The facilities provide a range of services from doctor appointments, mental health caregivers, physician on-demand, online pharmacy, wellness experts, and second opinions.

TeleHealth services provider in Canada

What makes telemedicine popular is the convenience, effectiveness, and affordability. But with a plethora of options to choose from, how does one pick a specific telemedicine services provider in Canada? We've done our research and assembled a comparison guide to make it easy for our readers. 

Livecare

Livecare is a physician-owned and operated telehealth provider offering virtual doctor appointments for specialties like cardiology, endocrinology, mental wellbeing, sleep disorders, pain management, and so on. They offer video conferencing services where customers can discuss prescriptions, refills, diagnostic results, resolve doubts, and avail follow-ups. Apart from these services, the app provides online journals and health trackers to manage their wellbeing. 

Tia Health

Tia Health is an app that connects registered doctors and prescribers to Canadians. The modes of communication available are video conferencing, phone calls, and messaging. A person has the freedom to view and choose a doctor of their own choice and preferred language. The app also offers requisitions, mental health support services, in-app referrals, and COVID-19 screening. Currently Tia health is covered in the provinces of Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia and charged at $30 for other provinces.

Algo App

Algo App offers services for all Canadians. Users can “book online doctor appointments, in-person clinic visits, request a prescription, and order prescriptions and non-prescription medications”. The easy-to-use app is continuously increasing its base of doctors, prescribers, caregivers, and pharmacies across the country. The extensive Canada pharmacy coverage always guarantees common and specialty medication availability. The secure service ensures medical records are safely stored. Doorstep delivery of medicines in tamper-proof discreet packaging ensures privacy. Apart from new prescriptions, customers can arrange refills easily through the app itself. Doctors and pharmacies are available 24/7 and on-demand to cater to all needs. Users have access to a registered pharmacist and their medical profiles at any given moment.                                      

The services are free for all residents covered under Ontario healthcare plans. Currently, services are chargeable in all other provinces but will be covered under provincial healthcare plans soon.    

Cover Health

Cover Health is a telemedicine service that offers appointment with a doctor within Ontario using Ontario governments telehealth platform. Patients prefer to use Cover Health to cater to generic illnesses like flu, prescription renewals, follow-ups, reproductive health, and so on. The service is covered for all patients residing within Ontario. Cover Health supersedes Telehealth Ontario's phone-based advisory service, which has minimal access to medical practitioners and does not offer any prescriptions, medical notes, or health record-keeping solutions.

Maple

Maple allows users to connect via any smartphone, tablet, or computer around the clock. Patients can use text chat, audio calls, and video conferencing for diagnosis. On-demand doctors are available in the shortest possible time. The specialties offered include urology, dermatology, pediatrics, sexual wellbeing, oncology, mental health, naturopathy, basic prescription renewals, general health, and much more. Maple is available for all Canadians across the country. The consultations are chargeable at $49/weekday visit and $79/weekend visit. 

Tulip Health

Tulip Health is a dedicated phone-based service that connects users with relevant doctors in the Ontario province. The service offers doctor consultations, prescription renewals, specialist referrals, and other health-related assessments. As Tulip Health is primarily from Ontario, the benefits are covered for all Ontario residents.

Babylon 

Babylon App offers appointment-based virtual consultations, prescriptions, health assessments, and diagnostic referrals to Canadians across Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Saskatchewan. The doctor consultations are provided only on video. There is an additional option to share prescriptions with a customer's preferred pharmacy. All Canadians covered under provincial healthcare plans can access the services. Otherwise, the charges for each consultation start from $65. The app is also famous for its built-in symptom checker service. Based on general healthcare questions and triage information, the checker determines every customer's state of health. Additionally, customers can track and monitor energy levels and moods on the app.

GOeVisit

GOeVisit mobile app offers a subscription-based service for all Canadians. Users need to describe their symptoms to receive a treatment plan from a registered medical practitioner. It works best for general health issues and minor illnesses. The subscription starts from $10/month for individuals and $15/month for a family subscription. 

Beacon

The beacon app caters mainly to mental wellbeing services across Canada in French and English. Users must complete a questionnaire based on which the app assigns cognitive behavior-based therapy programs suitable for the user. The services offer support for mild to moderate depression, panic attacks, insomnia, anxiety, and PTSD. A vast pool of registered therapists is available for messaging. The service is covered in the province of Ontario. Other provinces are subject to payment. 

Virtual Clinics

Virtual Clinics is an online-based service offering virtual doctor appointments for patients over video, phone, and messaging. The services offered are prescriptions, on-demand lab test results, prescription renewals, and doorstep pharmacy delivery. Virtual Clinics services are currently free in British Columbia, Ontario, and Alberta. Service charge for Canadians from other provinces start from $30. 

That's a wrap!

We have come to the end of our comprehensive telemedicine services provider list. Some of the above-listed names you may have heard or used, and some may be new. By comparing basic service parameters and affordability, we hope you will now be able to choose the service provider with ease. 

A trusted telemedicine provider like Algo App ensures every customer makes the most out of the service. Are you having doubts about your health? Do you need a prescription refill? Get a doctor appointment booked in Algo App today.

Dec 22, 2020, 5:49:29 AM
Is Virtual Healthcare Better Than In-Person Visits?

Healthcare should be accessible by everyone. Thanks to the advancement in communication technology, you need not visit your healthcare provider in person every time there is some inconvenience. That means you can book an appointment and get medical consultation from the comforts of your home. Telehealth, Telemedicine, Virtual healthcare, Virtual Medicine are some examples of the interchangeable technical terms used to describe this method of accessing care.

Virtual Healthcare vs In-Person Visits

It has multiple advantages to provide a pleasant experience to both the patients and healthcare workers. Even though Virtual healthcare, Telemedicine is becoming popular globally, we still need to look at some of the disadvantages it might possess. Below is a list of pros and cons that may help answer some of your questions.

Pros of Telehealth

  1. The connection between people in rural areas and healthcare workers

    People from rural areas or any inconvenient location tend to suffer the most due to limited healthcare. There are no proper medical facilities or transportation in these places. Thus, if these people do not receive good healthcare options locally, they can always rely on Telemedicine services and connect to the best Healthcare providers on a national level.

  2. Cost-efficient and time saving

    As per recent studies, it has been proved that virtual visits cost four times lower than in-person visits, which is unfair to the patients who travel to see physicians and doctors in person. Moreover, it consumes a lot of time. However, with Telemedicine, you can pay less and still get quality service. On the part of healthcare providers, they will have more time, and thus they can spend more time with their patients.

  3. Prevents the spread of contagious diseases or germs

    When people visit medical facilities in person, they are at a higher risk of contracting contagious diseases or germs, which in turn might harm some other patient, and the cycle goes on. People with lower immune levels are more vulnerable to this. With the current COVID-19 pandemic going on, this issue has become the primary fear. With Telemedicine, you do not need to worry about this. You can consult your doctor from the safety of your home and receive treatment options if required.

Cons of Telehealth

  1. Technological and electrical glitches

    Quite unbelievable as it may sound, many people still don’t have proper technologies or access to a stable internet connection. They will be at a disadvantage. Moreover, both the provider and the patient should have appropriate devices and an internet connection; if either of them fails to do so due to inclement weather or power outage, the whole consultation is compromised, which is inconvenient for both sides.

  2. Limited assessment of patients

    Doctors can only provide solutions depending on how the patient explains their issues. Clinicians cannot physically assess them to understand them better, which puts them at a disadvantage. They need medical equipment to evaluate the patient and so may ask the patients to visit a nearby clinic in person, which again is a disadvantage for people who have transportation difficulties.

  3. Potential cyber crimes

    As the appointments and consultations are all online, hacking of online data is relatively easy for hackers if the telemedicine company doesn’t have the proper safeguards in place. This poses a huge threat to the security of patient and provider information. If the cyber-criminal hacks into any patient’s accounts, they will get full access to all their medical history and records. Thus, to prevent it, extra security measures are required.

Conclusion

Virtual healthcare through telehealth and telemedicine are gaining popularity as their pros outweigh the cons. Moreover, the disadvantages are fixable, and with a reputable solution, many of them can be eliminated. With Algo medical application, you will get access to both the clinic and pharmacy from the comforts of your home in an all-in-one feature application. Moreover, it is user-friendly and super easy to schedule your first consultation.

Apr 2, 2020, 8:02:13 AM
Your medications and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

There is no business that has escaped the impact of COVID-19 or more commonly known as the Coronavirus. While majority of these impacts have led to temporary closure, your neighbourhood pharmacy is an exception which remains open as an essential healthcare service.

Medications and Coronavirus

Although much remains the same around dispensing medications, you cannot help but notice a few changes. The most noticeable ones being social distancing between staff and patients, limiting the hours of patients in the store, increased cleaning, reduction in hours, or requesting patients for cashless payments and deliveries. All this to help reduce the spread of this pandemic that is running rampant around the globe.

As a patient, this can bring a lot of comfort if you or your loved ones are on essential medications. Knowing that your pharmacy is still there when you need those medications will ensure that you don’t end up in long line ups or have to fight with other shoppers to get them, a common scene in many stores as people panic and start to hoard supplies.

Behind the scenes, the impact of Coronavirus on your drug supply is much more pronounced. The first indicator to you was probably when your pharmacy limited the amount that they dispense, one month instead of the traditional 3 month supply. While Canada has quite a few drug manufacturer, most of them relying on India or China for most of the active ingredients. The active ingredient is the part of your pill that is the actual medication, which is then combined with various fillers, coating agents, dyes etc. While limiting the supply buys us some time, any changes in the exportation of drugs from these two supplies, would disrupt our drug supply which has been already rife with frequent drug shortages.

The Canadian government is closely watching this and has already enacted legislation that gives it the right to force patented drug manufacturers to produce more medication if required and remove patent protections for players that are not able to meet the demand. This may also serve as the wakeup call for the government and bring our overreliance of our drug supply on these two nations to the forefront.

Watching these scenarios unfold with little or no control over them may be unsettling. But there is a lot you can do right now to enhance your safety and keep yourself protected during this pandemic. One of the most effective and the easiest changes you can make is to get your medications delivered instead of venturing out to pick them up. This simple measure would cut down on your risk of getting exposed to coronavirus. But you cannot stop there, there are some additional steps that you need to follow to ensure your safety. While some delivery companies are following recommended safety procedures, like stopping to wash their hands, most have not been able to incorporate them. Drives for companies such as Uber and Amazon has brought up issues ranging from bins not being sanitized to a total lack of protective gear or even hand sanitizers.

So are the packages safe? While experts have mentioned that the virus is viable for up to 24 hours on cardboard and even longer on plastic and stainless steel, organizations such as CDC have mentioned that being able to detect the virus on the surface does not translate to infections. They also say that you are unlikely to contract COVID-19 from surfaces including cardboard boxes which have been exposed to different conditions and low.

Does that give you enough piece of mind? If you are satisfied with unlikely or having a hard time following up with constantly changing guidelines or simply about your safety, do the following:

  1. Call your pharmacy and find out what procedures they have in place to ensure that the packages they send out to you are free from any virus particles.
  2. Ask them about their delivery partners and find out what they are doing for your safety as well.
  3. Once you receive your package, discard the packaging and sanitize your medications with anti-viral wipes.
  4. And as always, do not forget to wash your hands right after and avoid touching your face.

Algo fill your prescriptions from a pharmacy that has been thoroughly disinfected before starting to fill any medications and closed for walk-in patients to minimize the changes of any transmission. All packaging is disinfected both before and after filling your medication. The delivery driver are on staff as well and follow the most current guidelines to ensure the safety of each and every delivery. If you have further questions about what Algo is doing to keep you safe while delivering your medications, do not hesitate to contact us!

Jan 22, 2020, 4:56:49 AM
6 Steps how to choose the Best Pharmacy App online pharmacy store

Summary:You need to look online for the best pharmacy appto avoid the hassles and struggles of buying medicine. Here at the finest traits to choose the right medicine buying an app.

If you visit drugstores frequently, you know the associated problems, like not finding the right medicine, not in stock or on backorder, waiting in long lines, variable prices and many others. However, these negative medicine buying experiences can easily disappear from your life when you find the best pharmacy app.

However, there are many offerings when it comes to app-based pharmacy service. So, finding the best option becomes a task in itself

For online pharmacy delivery,you should focus on these factors to select the best pharmacy App or online pharmacy store:

  1. Vast and consistent availability of all required medicines

    Probably the most important requirement that a pharmacy app needs to fulfill is the provide various brands and generics for the medication you are looking for along with the consistent availability of medicines. You should be able to find all the required medicines at any time. That way, you won’t be missing any doses or have to needlessly switch brands for the lack of availability of your medicines. The best app for online medicine delivery will provide you a large collection of medicines, which will save you hours from having to look around or standing in long line ups.

  2. Ability to create a personal, secure account

    It is important to ensure security when ordering medicines via an application. For that, you should be able to create personal account, protected with your user ID and password, preferably with two factor authentication. Using that feature, you can personalize all other features of an application such as tracking the prescription home delivery, checking the history of your orders and other personal settings. A pharmacy app account creation shouldn’t take too long. Your mobile number or other social accounts should be enough for the basic sign up. Similarly, adding photos of your prescriptions and insurance cards should take a few more seconds.

  3. Easy order placement with ongoing tracking of the delivery status

    Beyond a personal account, your selected pharmacy app needs to have easy ordering and tracking features. This will let you manage and monitor all ordered medicines right from your smartphone. Hence, you can protect yourself from forgetting about which medicine to order. These days, advanced pharmacy apps provide visual status of your ordered medication right after it goes out for home delivery. Along with that, many high-quality apps let you explore the history of your orders. So, you don’t have to keep an on-paper record of medicines you have taken over a period of time. Your personal record of medicines keeps on updating, which you can use while consulting your doctor.

  4. Permission to order prescription and non-prescription items

    Apart from all prescribed medicines, you might need some non-prescription medicinal items as well. Those items should be available on the pharmacy app or online pharmacy store you select. Otherwise, you will end up once again waiting in the long queues at your nearest pharmacy. One single pharmacy app should be able to provide you with all your prescription and non-prescription needs.

  5. Automated refill of regularly used medicines

    One of the biggest struggles for regular users of medicines is ensuring proper stock at all times. But, while fulfilling your everyday responsibilities, it gets hard to remember to stock medications every month or week. This is why automated refill features are a necessity when choosing your pharmacy app. Such an app will allow you to refill your medicine stock with a single or on autopilot. You can make renewal settings with the number of medications and time intervals. Then, the application automatically places the order from time to time.

  6. Delivered straight to your desired location

    No app will be useful if it doesn’t deliver to your desired location. Make sure that your selected application provides prescriptions delivered to your home or your office if needed.

A pharmacy app with all the features mentioned above would be perfect to fulfill all your needs. So, use this checklist to look for your pharmacy application right away. Getting your medicines delivered right at your home is a convenience that can not only save you time but also improve your health by allowing you to get the most out of your medications.

Dec 27, 2019, 9:43:17 AM
7 Hidden Depression Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

Mental pain doesn’t become easily visible like physical pain. Recognizing or diagnosing depression is difficult, especially during the early signs. But, seeking professional help as early as possible can reduce the impact of depression in your life. 

Here, in this post, you will find out hidden depression signs to help yourself or your loved ones, who may be going through mental pain.

  1. Irregular pattern of sleep

    Sleep gets affected with increasing depression. A constant loop of negative thoughts keeps on running. This exhausts your mind and keeps you worried all the time. This brings irregularity in sleep patterns. A person going through depression sometimes sleeps a lot and sometimes stays awake throughout the night. Within a few days of this sleep irregularity, your daily life and mood start to get affected significantly.

  2. Appetite and weight change

    Depression can also change the appetite of a person. Some people lose their appetite, while many start eating more than usual. This can be a clear sign to identify a depressed person if you suspect. If a foodie suddenly stops eating properly, depression can be a reason. The opposite is also true. A person might start eating way more than his or her usual diet suddenly.

  3. Unexplained fatigue

    Fatigue can be a result of dehydration and physical strain. However, unexplainable fatigue could be due to mental strain in a person. The hormones associated with depression tend to make people feel low and in pain. So, it becomes hard to even leave your bed in the morning. The most normal activities tend to cause immediate tiredness, which can last for days and weeks.

  4. Losing interest

    It might be difficult to notice due to the long time it takes to increase. But, a depressed person gradually loses interest in everything. Things stop being important or giving any sort of joy. So, a cooking lover stops cooking, a dancer stops going to his or her classes and more. It starts slowly and gradually increases the impact on a person’s behavior. If someone is going through this around you, try to help that person hold on to a hobby.

  5. Forced happiness

    Sadness becomes the core emotion in depression. So, a depressed person forces happiness when around other people. Making connections with others and genuinely smiling become some of the impossible tasks in depression.

  6. Irritation and anger

    With an agitated brain, everything and anything can irritate a depressed person. That irritation leads to anger against situations and people. If a person is getting angry over unnecessary things, it might be a sign of depression

  7. Physical health issues

    The physical health of a depressed person can face issues such as headaches, back pain, shoulder pain, stomach pain, and others. Hence, these signs should not go unnoticed.

There are medications available for clinical depression. But first, you need to get a prescription from a specialist. Then, you can use an app for home delivery of medicines to treat depression. Take the first step by talking to someone.

Dec 27, 2019, 9:40:14 AM
7 Ways Your Body Tells You about the Deficiency of Iodine

The production of thyroid hormone in your body depends on the presence of iodine. This information is important because the thyroid hormone is responsible for brain development, bone development, and metabolism management. 

Iodine Deficiency

If your body doesn’t receive enough iodine, it interferes with the functionality of pituitary gland. As a result, the body starts responding in a negative manner.

Here are the signs your body uses to tell you about the lack of iodine in your system.

  1. Excessive weakness

    You might be feeling weak or fatigued due to various reasons. However, iodine deficiency could be one of those reasons. The thyroid hormone provides energy for the body to ensure development and growth. So, the lack of iodine makes you feel weak. Lifting a heavy object becomes a challenging task and you feel exhausted afterwards. This happens due to the reduced metabolic rate of your body caused by iodine deficiency.

  2. Unexplainable weight gain

    As the thyroid hormone takes care of metabolic efficiency, it helps in the utilization of calories. But, when it gets interrupted due to the lack of iodine, the metabolic function loses its efficiency. This means that your body loses the ability to create energy from the food you eat. Hence, your body starts storing fats, which leads to weight gain that seems unexplainable from your perspective.

  3. Hair loss

    Hair loss is also a sign that your body is struggling with iodine deficiency. Hair follicles develop because of the thyroid hormone. Iodine deficiency reduces the levels of thyroid hormone, which limits the regeneration of hair follicles. As a result, you start to lose more than a normal amount of hair.

  4. Dryness and flakiness in the skin

    Just like your hair, your skin cell growth and regeneration depend on the presence of thyroid hormone. Low production leads to an increase in the number of dead cells on your skin. This causes your skin to look flaky and dry.

  5. Abnormal heart rate

    When you don’t get enough iodine, it slows down the normal rate of heartbeat. As a result, you get tired easily and feel dizzy every now and then. It is also important to know that too much iodine can lead to a faster rate of heartbeat, which isn’t good for your health either.

  6. Unusual coldness

    The lack of energy created by the deficiency of iodine leads to reduced metabolic efficiency. This condition deprives your body of maintaining the normal level of warmth. Hence, you tend to feel cold more often without any external reason.

  7. Concentration issues

    As mentioned before, thyroid hormones support the development of your brain. But, a low iodine diet doesn’t allow the production of thyroid hormones, which causes problems regarding your brain’s functionality. You find new things difficult to learn and your concentration level stays low all the time.

If you are facing any of the mentioned signs, consult a doctor and use iodine supplements. You can easily get the supply by using an online medicine provider.

Dec 27, 2019, 9:38:21 AM
How to Get Better Control over Your Panic Attacks

When you have a panic attack, the fear and anxiety reach the maximum intensity in a matter of seconds. The spontaneity of these attacks makes them unbearable to handle and manage. The symptoms may include nausea, disorientation, trembling, dry mouth, irregular heartbeats, dizziness, sweating, and breathlessness. The duration of these feelings can be from five minutes to 1 whole hour. So, no need to mention that panic attacks interfere with all aspects of your life. 

It may seem impossible, but controlling the panic attacks is possible with the right kind of help and medications. Along with that, you can follow these tips to attain better hold over how you react to your fears. 

1. Understand yourself and your condition

The very first step you can take is by understanding your body, mind and your condition. This needs to happen internally as well as externally. Gather more information about your condition and use that knowledge to understand what triggers your panic attacks. 

It starts with anxiety, which transforms into all the physical and mental symptoms you face during an attack. Understanding them and knowing the facts will help you rationalize situations and your physical response. 

2. Learn to keep your body and mind relaxed

There are a few relaxation techniques you can use to relax your body and calm your mind. In a relaxed state, your body produces a lesser quantity of various stress hormones. As a result, you get to control your physical and mental conditions. 

Learn and practice these techniques:

  • Deep and controlled breathing
  • Muscle relaxation

Meditation and yoga are two effective ways to practice relaxation. You can do it for a few minutes every day, or give more time as per your needs. Regular practice will help to regulate your body in a calming state. 

With practice, you will become able to reach a relaxed state faster. 

3. Work on your thought process

Panic attacks occur when you catastrophize or overestimate your thoughts. The cycle of these attacks can only be broken by changing the thought process bit by bit. 

It is definitely easier said than done, but you have to keep trying. Notice whenever you overestimate something while thinking about it. Compare your thoughts with the visible facts, if they don’t match, you are moving on the wrong track. 

If you find your mind in a loop of catastrophic thoughts, think of the worst-case scenarios. Then, plan in your mind how you would tackle the worst conditions. 

So, if you have a plan for the worst-case scenarios, it will work as a coping mechanism. 

4. Face your fears

The ultimate solution to control your fears is to face them. Face the activities, places, and situations that make you feel scared and cause panic attacks. Create a controlled environment of exposure initially if something seems too frightening to you. 

In many cases, a panic attack is a symptom of clinical depression and anxiety. If you have diagnosed anxiety conditions, keep your medications available all the time. You can use online applications to get your prescription delivered. 

Consult a doctor for professional advice!

Dec 27, 2019, 9:34:55 AM
7 Vitamin K Deficiency Signs Women Shouldn’t Ignore

The presence of Vitamin K makes blood clotting possible. Recent studies have also shown the importance of this vitamin as a remedy for cancer. It increases insulin sensitivity and supports bone formation as well. 

Adults rarely develop a deficiency of this vitamin. However, in the case they do, it can create serious health issues. Low vitamin K level in your body increases the chances of developing a heart condition. People suffering from Crohn’s or celiac disease face critical problems. At the same time, it can happen due to malnutrition or medicine-induced vitamin absorption insufficiency. 

Women need to focus on these signs to detect the chances of this vitamin deficiency:

1. Painful and heavy menstruation

The lack of vitamin K may induce the intensity of periods in women. A condition called Menorrhagia is possible, which causes painful and heavy menstrual cycles. The PMS or Pre Menstrual Syndrome symptoms also increase if a woman has a deficiency of vitamin K. 

2. Easy bruising

People suffering from this problem tend to get bruised easily. Even a tiny bump is enough to create big bruising spots that last for days. This is why people need to take extreme care while doing all the everyday activities. 

3. Too much bleeding

When wounds occur, a person with this deficiency experiences excessive bleeding. Even injections tend to create a lot of bleeding than normal. Nose and gums are the most common areas of the body that tend to bleed in people with this condition. 

4. Damage to the gastrointestinal tract

The lack of this vitamin increases the risks of cultivating gastrointestinal bleeding and hemorrhaging. These conditions tend to make urine and stools bloody and even black. Immediate consultation of a doctor becomes necessary if any of the signs occur. 

5. Reduced skeletal health

The lack of vitamin K reduces the density of the bones. This leads to consistent ache, pain in the bones and joints. The person may also get fractures easily and frequently. The same deficiency can also cause the development of osteoporosis. After crossing the menopausal age, women become more vulnerable to this condition related to skeletal health. 

6. Cardiac health issues

Vitamin K is also necessary to keep the heart functioning efficiently. Its deficiency causes artery calcification. Without an optimal amount of vitamin K, the arteries start forming plaque of calcium. This condition increases the risks of developing heart conditions as well as a stroke. Hence, women should keep an eye on reducing cardiovascular health. 

7. Bleeding teeth and gums

Teeth and gums are prone to bleeding a lot due to the lack of vitamin K. Hence, this becomes a clear sign of the problem for women. 

To prevent and resolve the problem, you should take a balanced, vegetable-rich diet. Eat green vegetables, yogurt, and raw cheese to get vitamin K. You can also consult your doctor to get supplement suggestions and use an online pharmacy delivery to get them any time. Take the supplements regularly to ensure the presence of enough Vitamin K in your system.

Jul 26, 2019, 6:47:52 AM
5 Ways to Get More Out Of Your Doctor Appointments

It can be quite a wait until you see your family physician for a Doctor’s appointment in Canada. Follow these 5 tips and you will never walk out thinking that you forgot to show the mole or a bump, only to have to go through the agonizing process of making another appointment, which sometimes is not even an option. This is why it’s important to plan ahead for your next doctor appointment to make sure you get the most out of your visit.

1. Ask questions.

And ask a whole lot of them! Taking the best care of your health also means to understand the whats, whys, and hows of your health care so you can make the best treatment decisions for you. If you’re in doubt, just ask. If you want more clarity, ask. If something does not seem right, ask. 

2. Write it down.

Asking questions only works if one remembers and it can be challenging to remember after having to go through traffic, find parking, registering and then waiting in the clinic. Writing it all down means you don’t need to do any mental gymnastics while you’re in the office. Instead, you can have an in-depth conversation and be totally present instead of searching your brain for anything you may have forgotten. Write all of your questions down before you come in for the appointment and do not hesitate to take notes while you are there as well!

3. Don’t be afraid to open up.

Talking about health issues is hard and can be embarrassing to oneself. No matter how you slice it, remember that your physician has probably seen and heard it all before. Discussing these issues can help you identify illness and get started on a treatment path that brings you back to health.

4. Bring your medications (or a list of medications).

Drug interactions are taking a serious toll on our healthcare systems as they amount to a staggering number of hospital admissions each year. You can certainly help reduce these and the associated burden by make sure your physician is aware of any medications you’re taking – including over-the-counter products. At the same time make sure any changes are conveyed to your Pharmacy as well so everyone involved with your healthcare is on the same page. Algo Pharmacy App not only makes it easy to keep track of your current and past medications, simply login to your profile and view your electronic medicine cabinet!, it also keeps this information current with our pharmacy and serves as the one source of truth for your medication history.

5. Check your prescription refills and expirations.

If you take regular medications and you might be due for a refill, make sure you to get a new prescription at your doctor’s visit. This would avoid a second appointment or waiting to hear back from their office when you are close or have run out of your medications. If you carry around life saving medications with you (i.e. Nitrospray, EpiPen), make sure you check the expiration date in case you need to replace and get a new prescription for those as well.


Also Read: How to Get Better Control over Your Panic Attacks

Jul 26, 2019, 6:42:00 AM
Do E-Cigarettes Help You Quit?

A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine (https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1808779) is making headlines touting how it almost doubles your quit rate or increases your changes of quitting cigarettes by 95%.

While it sounds amazing, does it mean that e-cigarettes should be first line to individuals looking to quit their smoking habit? This question has come up a few times during our consultations so wanted to share how we handle these on our blog.

Keeping in sprit with the Algo way of individualized care, we believe your choice will be determined by your end goals of either quitting all forms of nicotine or just getting off cigarettes. Here is a quick summary of the entire study.



As you can clearly see while the number of people who quit smoking is higher in the group that used e-cigarettes, the number who completely came off nicotine is higher in the nicotine replacement group. The results are not surprising as the e-cigarettes are a safer alternate to smoking while nicotine replacement therapies are more designed to help individuals taper off and quit nicotine.

So if you ask us, we would suggest that if you want to only quit cigarettes, use e-cigarettes while if your goal is to get rid of nicotine in your life, you will have better success with nicotine replacement therapy. Please feel free to contact us for a more tailored quit plan or if you need further information.

Apr 26, 2019, 6:39:32 AM
Know Your Meds and Know Them Well

Imagine this, you are visiting a new healthcare provider regarding your new symptoms and not feeling well. As the nurse is inquiries about your current symptoms and puts on a blood pressure cuff, she asks you “what medications are you currently taking?”.

Your Meds!

Would you be able to answer this simple question? Do you know the name, strength, and dosages for each of the medications that you take? Do you know what they are for? All of this information is important to help you get the best care from your healthcare team.

Here is why this simple question is so important. If you are not taking your medications as instructed it could make your condition worse, hospitalization, and even death. According to the FDA, medication is not taken as prescribed more than half of the time by most patients and a large number of patient’s stops taking their medications 6 months after they start taking them. Hence the care providers do not trust any list you provide them as most of the time, it is not what you are actually doing with your medications. This problem is so large that a recent study estimated that in one year, incorrect use of medications resulted in more than 9 million hospital admissions and more than 18 million emergency room visits across North America.

While there are many reasons why people do not take their medications as prescribed such as forgetting them, not understanding the instructions clearly, experiencing side effects, feeling that the medication is not helping you, forgetting to renew them on time or financial difficulties.

Since it is important to take your medication as prescribed, it is also essential to know what medications you take and how you should be taking them. Most of us see more than one provider and several specialists. Before prescribing or stopping any medications, those providers need to know your medication list is accurate in order to prescribe you the safest, most effective option for you. The best person to know what you are taking is you!

If you find all this overwhelming, don’t despair, you are not alone and are one among millions who experience these difficulties. The good new is that there are numerous apps which can help you know why you are taking certain meds, set up reminders to take them on time, allow you to contact your pharmacist or just store your current list in there.

If you are someone who doesn’t want to juggle through various app, and want everything in one place then try Algo App! A complete solution that allows you to know your medications, help you take them on time, shop for over the counter items, and even contact your healthcare team at any time.

Mar 26, 2019, 6:37:45 AM
Top 8 Home Delivery Services in Toronto

It’s an incredible time to be alive if you want to everything brought to your doorsteps. These days, you can have everything delivered to your doorsteps without exposing yourself to the harsh Canadian winters. While it doesn’t do a whole lot for your social skills, delivery services in Toronto can be a god send for people who do not want to spend hours in the traffic to acquire their wares.

Here are the top 8 home delivery services in Toronto that ensure that you will never have to go out to buy goods or services.

Simply Laundry
A laundry service that you can schedule online, will come to your door, pick up your laundry, take it back to their facility, and then deliver your clean laundry in a reusable eco-friendly bag according to the time you specified. All this at a cost that is less than your local stores and probably even less than you doing it yourself at the laundromat (click here for their pricing list) so all the convenience is free and makes it more than worth it!

Grocery Gateway
Tired of paying too much for groceries at the store in your building? Or is your back hudring with hauling your grocery all the way to your apartment? Try Grocery Gateway from Longo’s  that brings your grocery right to your door. The only thing that you will miss is selecting your our fresh produce!

Dial A Bottle
While Grocery Gateway will deliver alcohol as well, Dial A Bottle puts the entire selection of your local LCBO and Beer Stores a click away for you. No more spending hours in transit only so you can buy your booze only so you can sit, relax and enjoy it.  If you’re feeling really lazy, they can also bring you mix, cigarettes and snacks from a corner store! All this for a flat delivery fee of $9. They also welcome special request and offer a discreet service, without uniforms nor car signs. Would love to hear about your experience with a special request in comments below. 

Come As You Are
All relaxed and now in the mood for some naughty sex but cannot find the right toys or too shy to buy them in person? Come As You Are is awesome enough to offer a discreet delivery service. No need to deprive yourself of a little fun just because you can’t fathom looking a salesperson in the eye with a sex doll by your side or a dildo in your hand.

Snap Delivery
A service that will deliver almost anything from any store or restaurant in Toronto, so long as they’re open. Well except alcohol but Dial A Bottle has that covered. Too lazy or hungover to satisfy those munchies? They will do that for you.

Cargo Cabbie
Did you think that all services focus on the small stuff? Cargo Cabbie will do all your heavy lifting for you and offer same day pick up and delivery at furniture stores, so that incredible new Italian furniture you just bought won’t have to wait at the store because you cannot find your strongman friend with a truck to help you bring it home.

Mammut Fuels
With all those services you still might have to leave your home eventually but realized that your car is too dirty and/or doesn’t have gas? A few clicks on their app and they will come shine your car, fill it up and make sure its safe to drive. With gas stations fast disappearing from Toronto and credit card skimming issues, this service is much needed. All you would need would be to keep up with your driving skills!

Algo App
Frustrated with the long wait time, drug backorders, and limited choice at your local pharmacy. This app will let you do more than just send images of your prescription to your pharmacy. Its amazing delivery service provides you same day home delivery. You can view both yours and all your family members history at your finger tips. Their goal is to give control of your health record to you, eliminate holes in your medical history, and be your one pharmacy for life! While there, do not forget to shop through everything you can find at the pharmacy and consult with the pharmacist for behind the counter and prescription medications. You can also setup your delivery schedules and track the driver so you can not left in the dark or making follow up phone calls for status updates. 

Dec 26, 2019, 6:28:49 AM
A Canadian Healthcare App That Works For You! - Algo App

Times are changing, life is getting busier and its more important than ever to take good care of your health. Algo App is a 24 hour open drug store Canadian healthcare app that's mission is to help you get the best possible care along with all the convenience that latest in technology provides, at a price that is the same or less than what you currently pay, guaranteed!

How do we do that?

  1. We have specialized billing team who along with our algorithms identify opportunities to lower the cost of your medications. You will always pay the same or less than your current cost. Guaranteed!
  2. We coordinate filling of your medications to a once a month schedule, so you spend less time thinking about your medications and more time enjoying your life.
  3. We do same day deliveries too, so no matter when you need your medications, we will always have you covered.
  4. Your medications are no one’s business except you and your healthcare team so we keep it that way with secure discreet packaging. 
  5. Have a question for your healthcare team? Text, voice or video call us anytime from the privacy of your home and you’re your answers within minutes.
  6. Algo's Canadian healthcare app carry more common and specialty medications than other pharmacies so we can be your one pharmacy for everything.
  7. We also carry more non-prescription brands and products than your local pharmacy, so you don’t have to spend time looking for what you need.

All this with the having your health record at your finger tips means you are always in the know with your health!

Mar 26, 2019, 6:26:38 AM
Toronto Just Got an Amazing Pharmacy Service

When was the last time you had to spend hours to fill your prescription, miss medications because you had no refill or had to visit multiple pharmacies for filling a prescription or even an over the counter medication that was out of stock or hard to source? 

With Algo App all that can be a thing of the past. If it is something you can find at your local pharmacy you can get it from Algo App (the reverse is not always true) only you won't have to leave the house, you can order whenever you want to, and you'll have it in your hands, signed and delivered within a few hours or at your selected schedule time and place.

Launched last year, the new GTA (Toronto) and Southwestern Ontario-based pharmacy and health service is already popping up on Instagram.

"Algo App is a very unique concept," as per one of the employees. "Algo app is more than just a system that lets you send images to your pharmacy or talk to the pharmacist. They are aiming to give you control of your health record and improve your medication adherence. Problems that cost millions to the healthcare system and effect the health of thousands of patients everyway. The app is fully secure as they do not save my identification data and has the largest selection of over the counter and prescription medications!"

All this at prices you won’t expect. You'll pay the same or even less than what you would pay at your neighbourhood pharmacy. 

The real sell here, though, is that you can get your healthcare items, prescriptions, over the counter, behind the counter medications all in one box. On one order! You can even set regular monthly orders for your chronic medications! you will get the amazing pharmacy services ever!

To use the service, you have to be in the Algo App delivery zone – which, right now, is all postal codes that begin with L, M or N. 

All you need to do is download the app through the app or play store, a few clicks to sign up and then order your medications or request them to be transferred from another pharmacy. 2019 is going to be a great year for such a service. 

Also Read: Is Virtual Healthcare Better Than In-Person Visits?

Feb 26, 2019, 9:47:15 AM
Reshaping Customer Experience in Pharmacy

A few years ago I called in a prescription at a local pharmacy. I called two days ahead and scheduled to pick up in the middle of the week. Once there to pick up on the designated day, I was told that the medication was not in stock. Backorders and inventory issues I understand but I was more upset about the fact that no one bothered to call and tell me about it in the two days leading up to the pick up. I was one disappointed customer. How many times do you think something similar happened to you at a local pharmacy?

Successful businesses are built by matching customer expectations with customer experience. These dynamic expectations are a reflection of a customer experience with other providers. If one provider exceeds their expectations, that becomes the new standard and others will have to provide a similar service to maintain (not exceed) customer expectation due to the psychological adaptation (Hedonic treadmill).

My level of expectation has been reshaped by a lot of other providers. A parcel service pick up which emails me every time something arrives for me and allows me to schedule pick up months ahead in time so that when I show up, I can quickly pick them up and leave within minutes. Or the parcel delivery service itself which allows me to track my order as it travels around the world. No wonder I was deeply unsatisfied with my experience with a local pharmacy a few blocks away from my house.

The evolution of technology has drastically reshaped customer experience. Remember that semi- frequent “blue screen of death” on your windows PC? (If that didn’t register with you then chances are that you were born sometime after the late 1980s) Windows (and even Macintosh!) used to crash a lot more often but a majority of the users lived with it as options to buy a computer were limited. As the cost of hardware dropped, more companies were able to provide computational devices. Whereas previously you were limited to a handful of providers, now there are a plethora of options. This resulted in technology differentiating itself based on the user experience or the software and not the product. This pushed Windows and Apple to move their focus to user experience. Being able to satisfy the new consumer expectation has allowed them to stay relevant in an industry full of competitors selling similar hardware, which interestingly is a lot more reliable than their initial offering.

The same holds true for healthcare. Over the last century we have developed an unbelievable number of treatments. At the same time, the ability for clinicians to access this information has drastically improved since the advent of the internet. . Information is shared and disseminated freely (or without barriers) to anyone thus minimizing the need for patients/customers to travel long distances to seek out medical attention. We are at a point where customer service is becoming the key differential between various healthcare facilities.

Unfortunately, customer experience/expectation is a moving target. As a user receives a certain level of experience with one provider, their expectations change and have to be met by others. When not met, it leads to a subpar customer experience. One example would be expecting all your electronics to run crash free based on the expectation set by Windows and Apple. Let’s look at Amazon for another example. Free shipping and hassle free returns are now an expectation from most online retailers. Similar providers, both current and new entrants, have to provide this service to retain their customers.

Technology has also enabled us to get closer to our customers. They have the ability to leave feedback in numerous forms including broadcasting it through different social media channel. The result: listening to your customer isn’t something that only a few customer service focused companies do but an expectation from any customer whose expectations were not met.

Now this begets the questions, if consumer expectations in healthcare track those of consumers in other industries, then why are healthcare providers significantly behind other industries in responding to their wants, needs and preferences? Advancements such as self-service, 24-hour availability, price and product transparency in the retail industry are still alien concepts in healthcare. A few reasons come to mind:

  • Lack of technology penetration in the older populations (currently the largest patient demographic).
  • Lack of incentive for healthcare providers to offer a different product offering.
  • Healthcare provider’s lack of understanding of technology.
  • Comparison among themselves, a hospital to a hospital, surgeon’s metrics to another in the next OR etc. This invariably sets the bar too low and gives us a false sense of “we are doing OK”.

Pharmacy is ripe for a simpler and more customer-centered method to fill and refill medications. There is a need to make a real push towards a paper free environment. Having customers navigate through enormous phone tree seems primitive. Automated refill has been tried in the past but doesn’t seem to work for all patients. Also faxing to communicate between pharmacies and different healthcare providers has its challenges and quite frankly belongs in the stone ages. Explaining to a customer that we are waiting for a reply for fax (that we hope got the attention of the physician) in an age when they can track their pizza order in real-time is like telling them to start rubbing sticks to heat their house.

Choice empowers customers. Many customers value the option of self-checkout lines. Text messaging, online refills and mobile apps are great examples of technologies that empower customers. It also makes our practice more efficient and improves customer service.

The consumer has changed and pharmacy is finally changing with them. Algo App is a great example of technology being implemented to solve real world customer problems. Prescriptions are send to the pharmacy with the click of a picture on your phone, status of the entire prescription tracked in the app including the delivery, and the payment is made in the app itself. It also has the entire pharmacy catalogue within the app, so you get everything a pharmacy has to offer from the convenience of your home. And if you have any questions, their pharmacists are available via chat, voice, or video calls anytime.

The app also has a host of other features such as medication reminders, monitors medication compliance, allows you to quickly share your medication history with your healthcare providers.

If you are in Ontario and have tried their services, please leave a comment below. Would love to hear about your experience with Algo App.