Luís Antunes, Manuel Eduardo Correia, and Ricardo Correia, have won the first edition of the João Cordeiro Award – Innovation in Pharmacy with the project DigitalPharma, a mobile solution that facilitates the interaction of the patient with the pharmacy.

DigitalPharma consists in the development of a communication infrastructure for mobile applications, where the exchange of information is extremely secure and the service provisioning as automatic and transparent for the user as possible. One of the technological bases of the project is an elastic cloud infrastructure for XMPP. Besides its performance and scalability, this messaging protocol allows easy integration of new modules and extensions, and the efficient exploration of “one to one” and “one to many” communication scenarios.

In addition to the communication infrastructure, the project includes the development of a mobile App (Android and IOS) that will enhance the interaction of the patient with the pharmacies. With this mobile application, the patient will be able to:

– inform his pharmacy previously of the medicine or the health product that he will need to purchase;

– find the closest pharmacy that has the medication he needs in stock (by optical reading of the prescription digital codes);

– find the fastest way to the pharmacies on his area;

– have access to all the relevant technical and scientific information regarding his medication;

– receive alerts on when to take his medication, according to the doctor’s prescription and the pharmacist recommendations;

– receive alerts on when to renovate his prescription in the case of chronic medication;

– receive alerts regarding anomalous batches that will be recollected;

– communicate adverse reactions.

Together, these will contribute to improve the access to the medication, the compliance to the prescribed therapeutic and the efficiency and robustness of the portuguese pharmacovigilance.

Other extra functionalities of the app can include: a digital loyalty card; news of promotions and discounts; registration of the physiological measurements made in the pharmacy; history of medication prescriptions/dispensing; home deliveries; the annual report of the total expenses in the different VAT rates.

A final part of the project proposes the development of an Internet portal with the same features and functionalities of the mobile app, in order to extend the universe of users. The portal will facilitate data entry by users and will allow the integration with other national platforms, such as the health data platform, where users can, for example, have access to their prescription history.

DigitalPharma was chosen by an independent jury from a total of 22 candidates. The prize comprises 20.000 euros to invest in the development of the project and additional logistic support for its implementation in the universe of the National Association of Pharmacies (ANF).

João Cordeiro Award will be granted annually by ANF and pays tribute to the vision of his former president, who led the institution from 1981 to 2013. The prize is intended to have a practical impact and to add real value to the universe of the pharmacies. It is open to any professional sector and it doesn’t reward past achievements but projects still to be implemented.