Medicine Delivery App Development Guide: Benefits, Costs & Process

Mayur Panchal
blog updated dateUpdated Date: May 27, 2024

Medicine Delivery App Development

Innovations, marketing campaigns, and business development strategies are crucial for companies thriving in the competitive pharmacy industry. While many pharmacy businesses struggle to cope with rising demand, ePharmacies have been a go-to strategy. This is where medicine delivery app development takes center stage.

Over the years online medicine delivery sector is gaining tremendous momentum, and for good reason. The global ePharmacy market is projected to reach $131 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 20%. The ease of ordering prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, and home delivery has been pivotal for such a market surge.

Such a massive market seems lucrative.

Want to know how to develop a medicine delivery app?

This article will guide you through the entire process of creating a medicine delivery app for your business, including benefits, types of business, and revenue models. But first, let’s understand why you should invest in a medicine delivery app and its key benefits.

Why Medicine Delivery App? Stats and The Many Benefits For e-Pharmacies

The urban population is going through a rapid change in their demands around delivery apps, be it medicine or surgical products. This has generated myriads of potential healthcare business ideas to be harnessed by pharma companies, medicine professionals, and investors.

Here are some important stats and benefits that show why investors and entrepreneurs are moving into this market:

Medicine Delivery Market Revenue

  • The online pharmacy market is expected to reach a global revenue of USD 45.3 billion in 2023.
  • This figure is expected to touch the USD 81.3 billion mark in 2028, a staggering 12.41% CAGR.
  • User penetration is expected to jump from 21.6% in 2023 to 30.9% in 2028.
  • Most of this revenue is going to be generated in the United States.
Take Your Pharmacy Business to New Heights with a Dedicated App

People are changing their ways of purchasing medicines and medical devices. The benefits listed below will tell you why you must invest in medicine delivery app development:

Benefits of Medicine Delivery App for e-Pharmacies, Clinics, and Medical Providers

  • Apps reduce overhead costs by eliminating the need for physical stores, rent, staff, etc.
  • An app can reach its customers well beyond physical stores, thereby increasing revenue and bettering healthcare infrastructure.
  • Partnerships with pharmacies, insurance companies, or healthcare providers can open up new revenue channels as well
  • The medicine delivery app can be easily scaled, which stays troublesome and costly in the case of physical stores
  • Ethical data collection can easily help telemedicine companies study valuable data on customer preferences, purchase patterns, etc. for targeted marketing and service improvement

Types of Business Models For Online Medicine Delivery Apps

Medicine delivery business models vary depending on the target audience, platforms, and services you want to offer.

1. Aggregator Business Model

Medicine delivery app owners partner with various pharmacies to list their products in the aggregator business model. Amazon Pharmacy is one fine example of an aggregator business model where several pharmacies list their products.

Many pharmacy aggregator companies also offer exclusive partnerships and sponsored recommendations for pharmacy companies. This adds an extra avenue of generative revenue for medicine delivery app owners.

Advantages of Aggregator Model

  • Higher range of products- Customers can access more products with several pharmacies listed on the platform.
  • Better affordability – More options mean customers can compare prices and choose affordable medicines.
  • Lower investment costs – Reduced inventory cost in the aggregator reduces the overall investment cost.

Disadvantages of Aggregator or Marketplace Model

  • Delivery delays – The delivery time can vary for each pharmacy location, affecting the entire fulfillment process timeline.
  • Quality control issues – Controlling the quality is a challenge as the suppliers of medicines are pharmacies, not aggregators.

2. Inventory Model

The inventory-based online medicine delivery business model involves storing and selling pharmaceutical products directly to customers. Businesses stock the inventory in their warehouses and deliver products directly to customers whenever they order.

An essential aspect of this business model is verifying prescription medicines before dispatch. Licensed pharmacies complete this verification process before processing orders.

Advantages of the Inventory Model

  • Rapid delivery- The delivery time for medicines reduces drastically as the products are already stored in the inventory.
  • Better quality control- As products are stored in the warehouse before the order is placed, several quality checks ensure better quality control.

Disadvantages of the Inventory Model

  • Higher initial costs- Requires high setup cost of inventory and investment in buying stock.
  • Limited range- Product options are limited for customers compared to other business models.
  • Logistics issues- If you choose this model, you must make greater efforts to ensure efficient storage and fulfillment centers.

3. Hybrid Model

This business model involves brick-and-mortar pharmacies going digital for their offerings. These businesses operate their medicine delivery operations through an app and also have offline stores.

Conventional pharmacy stores expand their business offering through online apps, creating a platform to attract more customers. Medicine delivery applications allow customers of such pharmacy stores to browse through their products and order online.

Advantages of the Hybrid Model

  • Convenient medicine purchase – Customers can either have the medicines delivered home or pick them up from the store.
  • Better reach – Pharmacies can reach new customers through the online application.

Disadvantages of the Inventory Model

  • Operational complexity – You must manage offline and online operations for your medicine delivery business.
  • Competitive market – You may face higher competition with several ePharmacy businesses operating in the market.

Now that you know what business models you can use for online medicine delivery, let’s understand how to earn profit from them.

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Revenue Models for Medicine Delivery App Development

From delivery charges to subscription fees and markup on medicine prices, there are several revenue models that you can explore.

Featured Medicines

You can list specific medicines as featured products whenever a user searches for a particular product. Each featured listing attracts a fee that pharmacies must pay to showcase their medicine above others.

This model allows aggregator medicine delivery businesses to earn revenue while offering quality products to customers.

Delivery Charges

The delivery fee is the primary source of income for any medicine delivery app business. Customers pay a specific delivery fee to receive medicine conveniently at their doorstep. The charge is based on the customer’s location, distance from pharmacy inventory, and other factors.

Membership Fee

Medicine delivery businesses can charge customers a premium membership fee in annual, quarterly, or monthly subscription models. These memberships provide patients exclusive benefits such as discounted products, free deliveries, and more. They also encourage customers to repeatedly purchase from the platform and order medicines for their loved ones.

Medicine Markup Prices

Several medicine delivery applications charge higher prices for medicines and charge pharmacies the markup. In simpler terms, specific medicines are listed above the wholesale price, and the difference is then shared between app owners and pharmacies. If you are a new medicine delivery startup, it is crucial to retain customers. So, the best policy is to identify specific categories of essential and non-essential medicines to charge markup prices.

In-app Advertising

Medicine delivery apps can partner with healthcare brands to display specific ads in the application and charge for them. These ads can be placed in the app’s interface, offering relevant information and offers based on partnership terms with pharmacies.

Express Delivery Fees

If customers need last-minute medicine delivery, you can charge them extra on the delivery fees. Further, you can create an express delivery ad that users can select when placing an order. This means you can generate additional revenue, and your customers get medicine delivery rapidly- a win-win!

Knowing the business and revenue model is one thing; implementing it is another. You need features that can help generate revenue.

Medicine Delivery App Development Process – An In-depth Guide

Medicine Delivery App Development Process

The medicine delivery app development process encompasses various critical stages, which are:

  • Market analysis
  • Planning and strategy
  • Technological stack
  • Design and development
  • Security measures
  • Launch and maintenance

These stages are pivotal to the success of the application. Let’s delve into each of these phases now:

1. Start with Market Analysis

To have a successful sail, you must know the sea. Before you develop a medicine delivery app, you must study the market trends, opportunities lying there, present competitors, and a shift in users’ behavior.

Investigate user preferences. Consider regional variations in regulations and healthcare practices. All these analyses are a must. This will help you set the foundation for strategic decision-making and shape the app to meet specific user needs accordingly.

2. Plan and Strategize

Use the insight gained at the first stage to plan and strategize your medicine delivery app development. Here are a few things to work around:

  • Target audience
  • User persons
  • Unique value proposition
  • Key features and technology to include

Always keep in mind the requirements of pharmacies, administrators, couriers, and end-users while working at this phase of online medicine delivery app development.

This will help you have a sustainable business model and revenue streams.

3. Tech Stack for Medicine Delivery App Development

Medicine delivery app development requires a future-proof tech stack to ensure there is no technical debt. Below is a detailed breakdown of the tech stack needed for creating a robust and efficient medicine delivery app:

Development OS Mac OS, Mac OS X, Ubuntu
Programming Languages Kotlin (for Android), Java (for Android), Objective-C (for older versions of iOS), Swift (for iOS), Ruby, Node.js, Python (for back-end development)
SDK Android SDK, iOS SDK, Cocoa Touch
Integrated Development Environment (IDE) Android Studio, Xcode (for iOS development), AppCode (for iOS development)
Web Frameworks Flutter, Ruby on Rails
Web Servers Apache
Database Servers MongoDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL
Payment Gateways Braintree, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Stripe

4. Design and Development

At this point, almost everything vital must have been planned and documented. Now comes the design and development part. Your medical delivery app must have a smooth interface and processing. This is to make it easier for users to navigate and place orders, for drivers to accept and deliver, and for management to manage everything with ease and zero errors.

For this, you will have to work closely with healthcare professionals and app interface (UI/UX) designers. Make sure the design is not only visually appealing but also meets the accessibility standards. Here, aPurple’s UI experts can help you have a design that is smooth and seamless.

Also, collaborate with stakeholders. This will help you gather feedback and make necessary adjustments throughout the development process.

5. Ensure Strong Security Measures

As stated in the ‘factors to consider’ phase, security is something that you must never compromise on during medicine delivery app development, especially in the sensitive healthcare sector. It is non-negotiable. Ensure these things:

  • Strong security measures to prevent data breaches
  • Encryption protocols
  • Secure data transmission
  • Compliance with healthcare regulations such as HIPAA and FDA

At any cost, conduct thorough testing to identify and rectify any vulnerabilities in the system before launch.

6. Launch the App and Maintain

Once everything necessary is made sure of, it is time to launch your app and advertise it accordingly.

Roll out your medicine delivery app. You may consider targeted marketing and partnerships with pharmacies and healthcare providers to enhance its reach and visibility.

Once done, monitor user feedback and app performance closely initially The data gained through this will help you make necessary adjustments to the app and marketing strategy.

The digital market keeps on evolving and changing quickly. So, plan for regular updates and maintenance to ensure the app stays current with evolving healthcare standards and technological advancements.

Launch Your ePharmacy App Today!

Unique Features For Your Medicine Delivery App Development

Here are unique features to consider when developing a medicine delivery app.

1. User Panel

  • Profile Management: Users can create an account, update delivery addresses, and manage personal details.
  • Prescription Uploads: Users can securely upload prescriptions or enter medication details directly into the app.
  • Order Placement & Refill: Users can place orders, add medications to their cart, and easily refill or reorder medications from their order history.
  • Order Tracking: Users can track their orders in real-time, view estimated delivery times, and receive notifications.
  • Payment Options: Users can choose their preferred payment methods for secure in-app transactions, which offers flexibility and convenience.
  • Order History: Users can view order details, access past orders, and reorder medications with a single tap.
  • Feedback & Reviews: Users can rate and review the pharmacy and medicine delivery service experience.
  • Loyalty Programs: Users can manage and track loyalty points earned through purchases.
  • Medication Reminders: Users can set medication reminders to ensure the scheduled intake of prescribed dosages.

2. Pharmacy Panel

  • Prescription Verification: Pharmacies can verify uploaded prescriptions to ensure authenticity and accurate medication dispensing.
  • Order Management: Pharmacies can view new and past users’ orders and manage their status (received, in-process, or delivered).
  • Inventory Management: Pharmacies can track medicine stock levels, manage inventory, and set reorder notes for low-stock items.
  • Messaging System: Pharmacies can securely communicate with users regarding prescriptions, clarifications, or order updates.
  • Analytics & Reporting: Pharmacies can access sales reports, user demographics, and medication trends to make business decisions.
  • Promotions & Discounts: Pharmacies can manage discounts and promotions offered on medications via the app. This attracts new customers, encourages repeat purchases, and boosts sales.
  • Customer Reviews & Feedback: Pharmacies can view user reviews and feedback to identify areas for improvement and enhance customer service.
  • Performance Tracking: Pharmacies can monitor medicine performance metrics to optimize delivery time and efficiency.
  • Marketing & Promotions: Pharmacies can use targeted in-app campaigns and promotions to reach specific user segments for effective marketing.
  • Driver Management: Pharmacies can assign pharmacy orders to available drivers for seamless delivery.

3. Driver Panel

  • Order Status Updates: Drivers can update the status of orders during medication delivery, including “picked up,” “on the way,” and “delivered.”
  • Navigation & Delivery Tracking: Drivers can use real-time navigation tools to optimize delivery timing and track delivery paths.
  • Delivery Confirmation: Upon successful delivery, drivers can obtain electronic or physical delivery confirmation, such as an acceptance signature.
  • User Communication: Drivers can communicate with users for deliveries through in-app messaging for clarifications or updates.
  • Performance Feedback: Drivers can view performance metrics and receive feedback to enhance delivery efficiency.
  • Earnings Tracking: Drivers can track their earnings per completed deliveries and payment methods.
  • Availability Management: Drivers can manage their workload and optimize delivery schedules by setting order availability times.
  • Safety & Navigation Updates: Drivers receive updates on road closures, traffic conditions, or safety alerts to ensure efficient and safe deliveries.
  • In-App Support: Drivers can access in-app support channels to get assistance or report issues during deliveries.

4. Admin Panel

  • Pharmacy Management: Manage registered pharmacies, approve/deny registrations, and access pharmacy performance data.
  • User Management: Edit, add, and manage user accounts, including permissions and roles.
  • Content Management: Manage app content like the About Us page, FAQs, and medication information displays.
  • Driver Management: Edit, add, and manage driver accounts and delivery zones and track driver performance.
  • Payment Management: Manage transaction fees and payment gateways and secure all financial transactions within the app.
  • Order Management: View and manage all medication orders and handle disputes or cancellations.
  • Push Notifications: Send targeted push notifications to users for order updates, promotions, or crucial announcements.
  • Analytics & Reporting: Access complete reports on app usage, sales trends, user behavior, and overall business performance.
  • App Settings & Configuration: Manage app settings like service fees, delivery zones, and promotional campaigns.
  • Security & Compliance: Implement strong security measures to safeguard user data, financial information, and prescriptions.

While the above features are enough to start your medicine delivery business, keeping up with the market needs advanced features.

7 Advanced Features for Medicine Delivery Apps

Integrating advanced features and functionality for your medicine delivery apps is great for user experience and operational excellence. Adding these functionality and features also offers a competitive edge.

1. Advanced Medicine Search

Creating an advanced search feature helps your customers find medicines easily and improves the entire app experience. Add filters for medicine search based on pricing, dosage, and specific contents. You can also integrate filters like OTC medicines and categorizations like pediatrics.

Further, you can add filters for specific diseases, such as diabetes, heart conditions, and arthritis, to your medicine search.

2. Prescription-Based Drone Delivery

Add a feature for customers to upload prescriptions and order medicines based on them. While this is a standard feature, the twist is a drone delivery. It dramatically impacts the entire app user experience – “Imagine your medicines delivered through a drone!”

This feature is exciting because it allows automatic medication finding from a doctor’s prescription and automated delivery. However, on the backend, experts must verify the prescription and medicines accordingly before dispatch.

3. Blockchain-Based Secure Payment

Every medicine delivery app needs to comply with specific data regulation standards like HIPAA and PCI DSS. Ensuring data security requires integrating secure payment methods. This is where you can use Blockchain-based payments.

Blockchain democratizes the entire transaction process, ensuring transactions on your medicine delivery app prevent information breaches and financial fraud. Blockchain transactions start with a user’s request to transfer digital assets.

The request, including sender and receiver wallet addresses, asset amounts, and a transaction fee, is broadcast to the network. Using mathematical puzzles, miners compete to validate and add the transaction to a block.

Once added, the block is verified and permanently added to the blockchain. This process ensures secure, tamper-proof, and transparent transactions without a central authority. You can hire mobile app developers with experience in Blockchain technology to integrate secure payments into your application.

4. Medicine Refill Reminders

Customers with recurring diseases need regular refills. Integrating a feature that reminds them of medicine refills can improve the customer experience. You can even build an automated order feature where customers can subscribe to specific medicine refills for particular periods.

If a customer needs a specific medicine in a fixed quantity every month, the order is placed automatically at the end of the month. A notification is sent to the customer on refill, and if they approve, the medicine is delivered to their home.

5. AI-Based Chatbot

AI-based chatbots can improve the user experience and customer support. You can integrate custom AI models into the medicine delivery application and facilitate automated customer support.

These chatbots ask customers questions, and based on the answers, algorithms customize responses to resolve issues. An AI-based support system can help you automate issue resolutions, improving customer satisfaction.

6. EHR (Electronic Health Record)

EHRs are a digital version of the patient’s physical reports, which include data on treatment history, medication list, allergies, and immunizations. You can integrate EHRs into your medicine delivery app development plan.

EHRs allow doctors and healthcare professionals to access all patient data. This helps reduce medical errors and improve patient diagnosis and care.

7. Integrated IoT-based Medicine Delivery

You can integrate IoT-based delivery for medicines and ensure digital POD(Proof of Delivery). You can also use IoT-based integrations to provide real-time updates, monitor patient health, and facilitate healthcare professionals’ access to relevant data.

5 Challenges of Medicine Delivery App Development

When you develop a medicine delivery app, it’s not a cakewalk. You will face several regulatory compliance challenges, such as fake medicines.

1. Ensuring Compliance With Regulations

A crucial aspect of medicine delivery app development is regulatory compliance. Here are some critical regulations a medicine delivery app business needs to comply with.

  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) mandates strict standards for protecting sensitive patient health information (PHI). Medicine delivery apps must implement robust security measures, such as encryption and access controls, to safeguard PHI.
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European Union regulation that applies to any company processing the personal data of EU citizens, including medicine delivery apps. You need explicit consent for data collection and processing. Further, you must allow users to access, rectify, or delete data.
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Regulations regulate mobile medical apps that meet the definition of a “medical device” or provide treatment recommendations.

Coping with the regulatory compliance requirements and ensuring user trust requires concentrated efforts. The best way to ensure compliance is by finding a medicine delivery app development service experienced in complying with such regulations.

2. Fake and Fraudulent Medicines

Fake drugs, prescriptions, and pills are a common problem in the US. According to Pfizer, authorities in the US were able to seize 9.5 million fake prescriptions in 2021. So, you need proper checks and licensing to ensure you don’t deliver counterfeit medicines. The best way to ensure drug legitimacy for medicine delivery apps in the USA is by partnering with licensed pharmacies only.

A significant approach is to find a white-label medicine delivery app development service with specific modules that ensure checks for medicines.

3. Ensuring User Trust

Online medicine delivery apps need to ensure higher user trust. Trust is necessary to impact users’ adoption of your medicine delivery business. Obtaining consent and ensuring privacy becomes crucial, especially when storing users’ personal health details.

Overcoming this challenge requires security-focused medicine delivery app development – partner with a medicine delivery app development company that provides secure architecture and data protection.

4. Delivery Management

A significant challenge for any medicine delivery business is managing deliveries and ensuring operations run smoothly. This includes logistics, supply chain management, and last-mile delivery management. As the business scales, there will be millions of orders to process per day, and managing deliveries on such a large scale becomes overwhelming.

The best way to overcome these challenges is by finding medicine delivery app development solutions experienced in building custom modules. You can have customized modules for logistics and delivery management.

5. Patient Data Management

Managing patient data on the scale can be challenging for any medicine delivery app business. Each patient has specific requirements that doctors have noted in the prescriptions. A robust infrastructure requires ensuring prescription legitimacy, checking medicines, and handling all data.

You can partner with a medicine delivery app development company that offers a reliable tech stack, including infrastructure for optimal data handling.

You May Also Like: 7 Best Medical Apps for Doctors That Transform The Healthcare

Medicine Delivery App Development Cost And How aPurple Can Help?

Medicine App Development Cost
Cost is a crucial factor when it comes to business, especially startups. The app development cost must be worked upon to devise a relevant strategy.

The Pharmaceutical app development cost varies according to several factors such as

  • Place of development
  • Technology stack used
  • Features included
  • Platform (iOS, Android, etc.)
  • Experience in the epharmacy app development cost company, etc.

You might find the cost to be ranging from $30,000-$80,000 for iOS and $5,000-$50,000 for Android.

If you are looking for experienced mobile app developer, aPurple can help. With years of experience in the app & web development field and in-depth market knowledge, our seasoned mobile app development team ensures cost-effective solutions tailored to your needs.

Contact us today to plan your e-pharmacy app using our expertise.

Final thoughts

Rapid digital transformation is driving significant growth in the medicine delivery app development market. From innovative AI integrations to Blockchain and EHR, several transformative technologies are ensuring optimal user experience. However, you need to overcome challenges for medicine delivery app development.

Fortunately, there are solutions for each medicine delivery app development challenge. All you need is an experienced and reliable company. aPurple offers professional medicine delivery app developers experienced in delivering scalable applications.

Deliver Exceptional Care with Our Advanced Medicine Delivery App
Mayur Panchal
Mayur Panchal is the CTO of aPurple. He is passionate about tech trends, clone apps, on-demand app solutions, and innovations across various domains. He loves to share his expertise through engaging content and inspiring others to discover the future of the IT world.

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