Australia gets a digital pharmacy in Tonic app

Need to get something from the chemist but don’t feel up to leaving the house? Believe it or not, but there’s an app for that.

The mobile app-driven world makes practically anything materialise before your eyes these days. You can order food from your home using an app like Deliveroo, Menulog, or Uber Eats, and you can order a car to take you somewhere using GoCatch or Uber. You can get books delivered to you digitally using Amazon’s Kindle app, or physically using the Amazon app.

So much of our world is app-driven and internet-based that you can pretty much rely on the idea that if someone wants to find a way to make the world a little more convenient, they’re probably going to do it with an app and/or a website.

And so what’s next? Medicine.

In Australia, two Queenslanders — Guy McKenzie and Adam Gilmore — have built a local take on a medicine delivery service, with an app that allows you to take a photo of a prescription, and have the results delivered to your home or workplace.

It’s called “Tonic”, and it’s basically a digital pharmacy, using an app to let you order prescription medication as well as other bits and pieces you might buy at the local chemist, with the products delivered to you afterwards.

Tonic app

In development for over a year, the app came about while its creators were waiting in line for a script to be filled at a pharmacy.

“Nowadays everyone is time-poor and heading online to order everything from clothes to food, so it makes sense people can get medication delivered too,” said Gilmore.

One of the big parts we’re told Tonic’s team has worked on is that of security and fraud protection when it comes to the prescriptions.

With the app able to photograph a prescription and order the medicine directly from the photo, making sure people can’t fake the system with a fake prescription is something the team has worked on.

“We have spent a lot of time and effort dealing with this area of the technology,” said Guy McKenzie, Tonic’s co-founder alongside Adam Gilmore, adding “we have some very specific technology that we have built to combat this”.

Tonic app

While Tonic wouldn’t explain how the technology would prevent fraudulent prescriptions from being filed, it did say that those who ordered medications would received a call from the pharmacist to discuss dosages and risks, the same way they might at a chemist.

“We wanted to ensure that convenience didn’t come at a cost of quality of care and users have responded well to the privacy of a phone call with the dispensing pharmacist, rather than having to divulge personal health information in a crowded pharmacy,” said Gilmore.

Tonic is available now on iOS and Android, working in Brisbane to start with, while national expansion will occur in the months to come.

Tonic app

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