As part of our Stronger Co-op, Stronger Communities ambition we want to launch new business ventures to reach new customers and new markets, enabling us to expand our portfolio of business and provide a Co-op way of doing things in markets where we can make a difference.
To help us do this, we’ve acquired Dimec, a healthcare technology start-up that has developed a unique digital solution that enables patients to directly order their prescriptions from their GP, allowing them to manage their prescription needs in a simple and convenient way. This will help us offer a health and wellbeing service to our members and customers. We hope to launch this in the spring of 2019.
As we develop this further, we’re also creating some new digital, operational and clinical roles. Keep an eye on coop.co.uk/jobs for vacancies if you’re interested in working in this area.
Moving on from our past pharmacy business
Some colleagues may draw comparisons of this venture into healthcare with our old pharmacy business that we had to sell a number of years ago. However, this is totally different. For a start, we won’t have the costs that physical buildings bring. Instead we’re keeping this a digital service and focusing very much here on the repeat prescriptions market. With an ageing population and 0.9 billion repeat prescriptions dispensed to 29 million people in England each year, we can see the demand for this sort of service increasing rapidly over the coming years.
What this means for our customers
Our health and wellbeing services are going to be about convenience, ease and trust – with this technology allowing members and customers to sort out their repeat prescriptions whenever, and wherever, they like. At a time when getting to see a GP is getting increasingly difficult, we want to ease that burden for members and indeed the NHS. We have lots of exciting plans, and you’ll hear more about them as we develop over the coming months.
Keep an eye out for more, and feel free to download the Dimec app and let us know your thoughts. Please share your experiences of repeat prescriptions and any problems you’d like to see solved below.
Director of Ventures
EDIT: If you want to know more about our ventures and what we’re aiming to achieve with them, have a look at this earlier story about what ventures is about.