SwipeRx enables 80,000 pharmacy professionals across Southeast Asia to learn, collaborate, and communicate, ultimately improving healthcare outcomes for the 100 million patients they serve across the region.
Over the last 15 months since its launch in January 2017, SwipeRx now counts over 80,000 pharmacy professionals as registered users of the platform, including 1 in every 3 pharmacists in Indonesia and 1 in every 2 in the Philippines.
SwipeRx’s rapid growth across Southeast Asia can be attributed to the fact that it addresses several real needs in the practice. Prior to the advent of SwipeRx, pharmacy professionals tended to be overlooked by NGOs, government agencies, and pharmaceutical companies, largely because it was hard to even access them. Pharmacies in Southeast Asia were a fragmented network, composed mostly of mom-and-pop operations and other small chains – in Vietnam, for example, this demographic comprises 90% of the 40,000 pharmacies.
Connecting these pharmacists on a single platform like SwipeRx is important because of how crucial they are to numerous major health problems. This includes their role in lifestyle advising, such as proper nutrition, weight loss for obesity, and smoking cessation, as well as treating chronic issues like diabetes or hypertension.
SwipeRx’s success in empowering pharmacists as front-line healthcare professionals is evident in how fully the platform is being integrated into the daily lives of users, for practically every part of their profession.
When pharmacists need more information about a particular medicine, they open up SwipeRx and look it up in the drug information tool, which catalogues all the registered drugs in those countries. More than 16,000 pharmacists have used this feature, and more do so every day.
When pharmacists need advice from trusted peers, they turn to SwipeRx’s discussion board, where they can pose questions to the platform’s audience of 80,000 pharmacy professionals. Over 10,000 answers have been received to questions asked on the platform demonstrating how pharmacy professionals are helping each other to solve public health challenges. SwipeRx’s users get help in everything from reading a prescription with tough penmanship to understanding the nuances of local regulation.
Most significantly, over 5,000 pharmacists now turn to SwipeRx to complete the continuing professional development (CPD) modules they need to renew their license since the launch of this feature in late 2017. In doing so, these pharmacists were able to avoid the hassle of having to take time off work and commute to a physical center to earn their CPD.
Farouk Meralli, the CEO and founder of mClinica, the health-tech organization behind SwipeRx, is proud that the platform is now playing such an integral role in the daily lives of pharmacists, but believes there is still a long way to go toward accomplishing the company’s goal of transforming healthcare in the region.
“SwipeRx’s early success has validated the problem we want to solve: Pharmacists in Southeast Asia need better tools and resources, as they have been traditionally overlooked in public health. We put pharmacy professionals first. Developing SwipeRx as the central hub for pharmacy professionals is only important inasmuch as what it signifies: They’ll be able to provide better service to hundreds of millions of patients across Asia,” said Meralli, who noted that SwipeRx’s existing user base already reaches over 100 million patients monthly.
As Meralli shared, pharmacists have been largely overlooked in the healthcare value chain in favor of doctors, and this trend applies all the more to certain segments of the profession, such as women and those operating in rural areas. Fortunately, SwipeRx extends inclusion to these sub-groups, who have adapted the platform en masse: Of the platform’s 80,000 users, more than 70% are female and another 34% work at pharmacies in rural areas.
mClinica Chief Operating Officer Vasil Rusinov noted that the health-tech organization is particularly conscious of how it helps these groups.
“Pharmacists and pharmacy assistants play an important role in strengthening health care within their communities. Yet they have been often neglected when it comes to technological information. Helping this segments of the pharmacy profession is especially important to us as an organization as it’s in line with our mission to improve public health at scale. With SwipeRx we can help them help their communities get the front-line healthcare they deserve,” said Rusinov.