Adoption of HealthTech apps shows an encouraging trend, with downloads and active users continuing to increase over the past several quarters, according to a report from Macquarie Research. Both Apollo 24x7 and Netmeds (Reliance) have gained share from Pharmeasy. Flipkart Health Plus is a key call-out in this regard, having gained about 20 per cent user share in roughly four quarters of operations, the report said.

“Online healthcare app downloads have doubled over the past six quarters, to ~7 million. Active Users Trend: Following the strong uptick in users between March 2021 to March 2022, MAU, which has been largely steady, appears to have picked up in October ( (+0.8 million in October versus Sept-Q). Within this, Apollo 24x7 appears to have gained significant share,” Macquarie Research said.

“It is encouraging to note that the engagement levels for these apps has also gradually trended up. towards the 40 per cent mark,” it added.

Buying medicines has got a lot easier, thanks to the advent of e-pharmacies. Now medicines are just a click or touch away. This not only saves patients the time they would otherwise spent standing in queues, but also the time and effort involved in going from one pharmacy to another, to get the prescribed brand or drug in case the same isn’t available in the nearby pharmacy.

According to industry experts, E-pharmacies have changed the way the drug-dispensing industry works for two reasons. Stiff competition from e-pharmacies has led brick-and-mortar pharmacies to offer services such as home delivery at no additional cost. Also, many physical pharmacies offer to procure drugs or brands on demand, in order to woo and retain customers. This is a significant change from earlier times.

E-pharmacies typically offer discounts of 10-40 per cent. This varies across products. Many pharmacies offer lower discounts on nutritional products and higher discounts for prescription drugs. This has not just helped customers who buy through e-pharmacies, save on their medical bills, but has also had a positive rub-off on conventional pharmacies, too. For instance, several traditional pharmacies have now started offering price discounts to retain customers.