An app to improve the communication between pharmacies and their patients has received a six-figure investment from a high profile tech pioneer.
Manchester-based PharmAppy was originally set up in 2020 in a bedroom in Prestatyn, North Wales, by school friends-turned-entrepreneurs Rhys Lloyd and Josh Ablett.
Originally fuelled by a passion to help their grandparents who were struggling with the shortcomings of modern community pharmacy, their flagship app has since been adopted by more than 600 patients at two local pharmacies.
Now after connecting on LinkedIn and then meeting at last autumn’s Pharmacy Show, the duo have received backing from Tariq Muhammad, CEO at Bristol-based tech pioneer Invatech Health and its flagship product Titan PMR.
Muhammad has invested a six-figure sum for a minority share in the early-stage business, which he expects to continue the digital transformation of the pharmacy sector.
In addition, the PharmAppy co-founders will benefit from all the technical support and expertise that the team of 50 at Invatech Health have to offer, as well as direct mentoring.
Lloyd said: “Frankly, there’s no one we’d rather have on board than Tariq. With his extensive experience in pharmacy, business, and digital technology, we’re excited for the journey and opportunities that lie ahead.
“My father has worked in pharmacy for over 25 years and often talked about how antiquated some of the processes are.
“Along with the problems my grandparents have experienced, that was a key driver to develop this business.
“And of course we’ve been aware of the waves that Titan is making in the industry. So we’re looking forward to working with Tariq and his team of experts.
“Ultimately, PharmAppy will help enable pharmacies to grow – by empowering the pharmacist, allowing them to add services, improve safety and communicate more efficiently with their patients. The digitisation of pharmacy has significant potential benefits for the NHS and private sector, so we’re pleased to be at the cutting edge of those improvements.”
Titan PMR is an innovative, revolutionary cloud-based system which manages end-to-end pharmacy workflow.
In 2019, Titan became the first patient medication record system to receive industry accreditation from the NHS in more than a decade.
Since then it has rapidly grown among the independent and online pharmacy sectors. Titan now processes more than five per cent – four million per month – of all medicine prescriptions in the UK.
The number is expected to double in the next year.
The new investment will fund a rich integration between Titan and the PharmAppy app to create an app which allows much more than simple ordering of medication – using technology to link the pharmacist to the patient. communicating directly with the pharmacist.
Lloyd and Ablett are the CEO and CTO of PharmAppy respectively.
Now both in their early 20s, the pair started their first venture aged 14 when they redesigned bespoke football game covers for friends in school.
Having both decided to work rather than go to university, they then set up and ran a web development and marketing company, alongside jobs in catering and the NHS in North Wales.
Ablett said: “In the very early days, we worked additional jobs to help cover costs, and regularly stayed up until 2am, designing and developing the first version of the app to get the business off the ground.
“It’s been hard work, but we’ve both believed it was the right course of action. Now PharmAppy Version 1 is operational and we’ve received both positive and constructive feedback from patients and the pharmacy teams, we’re looking forward to seeing the new PharmAppy Version 2 with Titan integration to be rolled out across the UK.”
Muhammad said: “It’s important to state that this is not the first app that Titan has supported, and it won’t be the last. The Titan Marketplace gives a powerful platform for software companies to integrate their software to Titan and help pharmacists develop and grow their businesses.
“But by working so closely with PharmAppy, we have the opportunity to demonstrate the art of the possible when it comes to connecting pharmacies to their patients.
“I’m an entrepreneur, myself and I’m impressed with what Rhys and Josh have achieved. It’s great to be able to support their efforts and I’m looking forward to working with them more closely.”