Revolutionary changes in Online Pharmacies of Pakistan due to COVID-19

January 11, 2021 social 62

From purchasing medicines to obtaining consultation, the health revolution is one of the most vital transformations that we in Pakistan have witnessed over the last few months. That is particularly due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the global lockdown which have brought drastic changes in the world altogether. The need to 'flatten the curve' has significantly changed the healthcare facilities available to every individual. Our healthcare sector has been working day and night to provide medical assistance to patients suffering from COVID-19 while putting their lives at risk.

With a surge in COVID-19 cases worldwide, the dependence on pharmacists to fulfil the healthcare needs of the public has increased rapidly. Despite the strict lockdown, pharmacies have been operational to provide the necessary medical services to those with both minor and severe illnesses. The advent of COVID-19, along with a subsequent shift in e-commerce, has prompted rapid growth in online pharmacies. The burden on the hospital staff has in result, decreased, and the concentration has been shifted towards treating COVID-19 patients. To avoid social contact, revolutionary changes have taken place in Pakistan's online pharmacy sector that has helped in keeping the cases as low as possible. Online pharmacies such as emeds pharmacy in Pakistan are changing the whole outlook and breaking the stereotype by providing not just the medicines but healthcare services not introduced before in Pakistan.

Obtaining consultation from doctors and the required medicines when you're sick and unable to go out can be stressful. The concept of acquiring healthcare services through an online pharmacy in Pakistan has been beneficial for everyone since social-distancing can be maintained, and the risk of getting infected is zero. Hence, the emergence of telemedicine and e-pharmacies have solved the issues of the traditional healthcare system amidst COVID-19.

1. Telemedicine in Pakistan

In the contemporary world where COVID-19 has spread across the globe, one would wonder how telemedicine has been supporting individuals in terms of healthcare facilities. Telemedicine is a modern technology that aides a patient by allowing two-way, real-time communication between the doctor and the patient. An instant consultation with a specialist is made possible by exchanging information for diagnosing and treating the ailment. This form of communication makes evaluating a patient's health a lot easier and quicker. Telemedicine is not limited to a telephone conversation, fax, or e-mail. It consists of secure videoconferencing to facilitate the doctor and the patient sitting at two different locations.

Hospitals and clinics have mostly been occupied by COVID-19 patients. Hence, individuals with minor illnesses prefer to stay at home and get treated through an online consultation with their doctor. They look towards telemedicine instead of visiting a health institute to refrain from getting infected. Telemedicine has drastically changed the course of how people obtain consultations from healthcare practitioners.

Various medical centres that offer telemedicine services have received an impressive response over the last few months. There has been a rapid increase in the number of texts, incoming calls, WhatsApp messages, and Zoom/Skype calls. At the same time, lab tests that are advised by the consulting doctor can also be conducted by collecting samples from a patient's home to decrease the risk of getting infected by COVID-19 at a testing lab. The results are then uploaded online to give convenience to doctors as well as patients.

2. E-pharmacies in Pakistan

The online pharmacy sector of Pakistan has experienced a healthy boom with the outbreak of COVID-19. It has been boosted by the lockdown restrictions that make purchasing medicines over-the-counter difficult and promotes prescription of drugs through the internet. Hence, e-pharmacies act as a lifeline for countries under lockdown and offer a wide range of benefits that help in fighting the pandemic. This includes a simple ordering process, efficient delivery, and quick treatment.

When you're suffering from an illness and medicines are required, but lack of transportation or due to a greater risk of getting infected at a physical pharmacy, obtaining the essential supply of drugs, masks, and hand sanitisers through an e-pharmacy becomes more convenient and safer. It improves the comfort and access of a customer, especially those who are more vulnerable to COVID-19, including the elderly, people with chronic diseases, children, and pregnant women. While it also caters to the needs of rural customers and those living in remote towns by delivering medicines at their doorsteps.

These pharmacies can store and analyse customer data across the country, which can assist in formulating public health policies. This form of medicine procurement has become a norm in current times. 

The revolutionary changes in Pakistan's online pharmacies amidst COVID-19 have played a significant role in providing healthcare services to individuals. Through online consultation with doctors, purchasing the required medicines, taking samples for lab tests from home and the delivery services have made our lives a lot safer. The transformation of the healthcare sector through the use of telemedicine and e-pharmacy is a crucial factor in combating COVID-19 across the country. Without the revolutionary changes in Pakistan's online pharmacies, dealing with the pandemic would not be possible. 

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