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Boots buys health tech company to enable online prescription ordering

Boots said it will consider implementing touch-screen technology in its pharmacies
Boots said it will consider implementing touch-screen technology in its pharmacies

Boots has acquired a health technology company, which will allow patients to order their prescriptions online by linking to their health records.

The multiple announced yesterday (January 3) it had bought Wiggly-Amps – which develops systems including an online consultation service – for an undisclosed sum.

Boots told C+D the acquisition on December 24 “allows Boots UK to access software that links our patients directly to their GP records for online prescription ordering”.

“Not only will this empower customers to better manage their healthcare needs in an accessible way, it will make the process much simpler and quicker for our patients and supports the NHS in the longer term,” Boots said.

Wiggly-Amps also produces touch screens for patients to self-check-in for appointments at GP surgeries, and others which can be used to record blood pressure, according to its website.

Boots told C+D it will “continue to consider” implementing touch-screen technology in its pharmacies.

“Digital healthcare ambitions”

The multiple’s pharmacy director Richard Bradley said: “It’s an exciting time for the future of pharmacy and [this] announcement is just one of the ways we are strengthening the development of our digital healthcare ambitions.”

During a conference call with analysts to discuss its financial results – which included a drop in pharmacy and retail sales – last month, the president of Boots’ parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance, Alex Gourlay, said that Boots “recognised the need to modernise our customer proposition”.

Boots has “started work on this already”, by “looking to shift where we invest”, focusing on new products and propositions, and “digitalising the whole beauty experience”, Mr Gourlay said.

11 Comments
Question: 
What do you make of Boots' acquisition?

Leon The Apothecary, Student

I wonder if this has anything to do with their partnership with the CareUK GP surgeries?

Lucky Ex-Boots Slave, Primary care pharmacist

The 123456th standalone system on top of all the other crappy systems like texting, frps, pharmacy services billings, claiming, online clinic rx etc you name it.... Great. Did I mention they are still matching barcodes with eyes when it comes to sending eps claims in 2019? Bravo Boots you know literally nothing about IT no wonder you are losing that much with bundle switching 

Brent Cutler, Manager

I think you might be wrong as prescription direction occurs when the Doctor seeks to influence the patient on where to obtain their medicines. Also I see no need to access patient records for online prescription ordering, this is a red herring. Last time i went into boots (5 weeks ago) they were still using Windows 7. I don't think anyone has anything to fear from boots, it's only just over a year since the Alliance system crapped out BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T HAVE A CONTINGENCY PLAN for server failures. Boots are amatures when it comes to tech.

John Cleese, Production & Technical

But they are profeshunals when it comes to spelling.

Barry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Come on guys don't get blinded by smoke and mirrors. See the bigger picture here!

David Moore, Locum pharmacist

The company is called, Wiggly-Amps? Seriously?

Leon O Hagan, Community pharmacist

Vitally important that all Boots pharmacists vote for the PDA Union to represent them in the upcoming ballot!....I smell closures and redundances coming. 

Leon The Apothecary, Student

It's definitely going to happen. Reduced workloads in branches naturally lead to redundancies and attrition.

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

“allows Boots UK to access software that links our patients directly to their GP records for online prescription ordering”

Am I wrong in saying this is a straight forward ploy towards Prescription Direction???

Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

Not sure about this - where is the benefit when most GP practices allow on-line prescription ordering which, when combined with EPS, removes the need for the patient to go anywhere near the surgery. Looks like a superfluous addition

Oliver Staunton, Information Technology

Still some nice products there, such as the patient check-in system which has an integrated BP monitor.

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