NHS prescription reminder and tracking app, Echo, has been acquired by the owner of LloydsPharmacy for an undisclosed sum.
The app, which allows patients to order repeat medication from their GP, has been scooped up by healthcare organisation McKesson.
McKesson said the purchase reflected part of the organisation’s new digital healthcare strategy toward providing simpler and more convenient ways for customers to manage their health digitally.
Catherine McDermott, the company’s chief digital officer, said: “We know that our customers are always looking for ways to make their lives easier by managing more things online. That’s why growing our digital capabilities is one of our top priorities. Our goal is to develop innovative technologies that enable us to better serve our customers and patients by providing them with added choice and convenience.
“By working with Echo we are accelerating the development of our digital strategy. The technology they have developed is used by thousands of people already and their operation allows them to fulfil thousands of repeat prescriptions every week.”
According to McKesson, there are an estimated 29 million people in the UK requiring on-going repeat prescriptions, an increasing number of which are choosing to manage this process online.
Echo allows users to request repeat medication from their doctor and have it delivered to their door free of charge.
Patients can also scan barcode on their medication using their smartphone and get dosing instructions sent to their device.
Echo, which already has a customer-base registered with its service, employs around 85 people, working in a mix of technology, design, distribution and clinical roles.
The company has been looking to expand its offer and achieve deeper integration with the NHS.
CEO of Echo, Roger Hassan, said: “This is a really exciting step for Echo. We set out with the mission of making prescription management easier and more convenient for customers. By working with McKesson and LloydsPharmacy we will be able to grow our business and achieve that goal even faster”
Toby Anderson, CEO at McKesson UK, added: “I’m really excited to welcome Echo into our McKesson family. Working together, we can deliver an even better digital experience for our customers.
“The world of healthcare is changing and a big part of that is the growth in online health apps. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has spoken on numerous occasions about the need for the NHS to invest in digital healthcare solutions, and how technology is a big part of the NHS Ten-Year Plan.
“With our existing customer base and Echo’s tech, we can help people to take more control over how they manage their health online.”