Smart Health


IBM recently announced its collaboration with Tienda Diabetes, a leading Mexican healthcare provider, to provide diabetes patients with affordable same-day delivery options for medicines, treatments and personalized care with the launch of Farmacia Online, the first-ever specialized online drugstore in Mexico.Using IBM Commerce capabilities, online sales have soared 50 percent, with the average order value increasing by more than 60 percent.Diabetes is one of Mexico’s top health challenges, according to the International Diabetes Federation, with nearly 14.7 million of the nation’s adults suffering from the disease. This national crisis presents a heavy financial burden for both the Mexican government and those directly affected.Tienda Diabetes, the first phase of Farmacia Online, a business unit of Soluciones Hospitalarias Integrales (SOHIN), turned to IBM Commerce to help provide better care for people with diabetes, cancer and other chronic degenerative diseases, through the launch of Farmacia Online and its national distribution network. Previously, medicines that diabetics needed to treat their condition were not readily available or difficult to find, forcing patients to go to multiple stores to purchase their medicines. If the products they needed were not in stock or sold out, they would need to continue searching, putting the patient’s health at risk.During the first phase of development of Farmacia Online, IBM Commerce and IBM Business Partner Edgebound jointly designed an e-commerce platform that significantly simplified the purchasing process. Rather than having to visit several local stores, customers are now able to browse through and buy 3,500 products, including medicines, treatments and low sugar food items, all in one place and all within just a few minutes. Additionally, patients can consult with pharmacists online regarding their treatments, and share experiences and feedback with other customers.

Analytic insights generated from this information will help identify purchasing patterns of different types of medicines most in demand and provide better understanding of the individual patient – such as age, family history of high blood sugar or where they live – for doctors to make decisions with a higher level of precision for an individual’s treatment. Currently Farmacia Online additionally offers its services to insurance companies.Through the new e-commerce platform on Farmacia Online, customers can also set up recurring purchases, including reminder alerts to schedule automatic refills. Tienda Diabetes also offers same-day delivery options for a patient to receive their purchases within just a few hours, 40 percent faster than the average national delivery time. Since launching the new site, approximately 85 percent of new visitors have become loyal customers.

“With Mexicans spending about $382 million on diabetes medications annually, the disease is a major challenge for the Mexican national health system. We needed to address the growing demand for better access to medicines and treatments that had not been readily available,” said Juana Marcela Ramírez, General Director of SOHIN. “Through the collaboration with IBM, Tienda Diabetes’ Farmacia Online is providing an affordable and efficient way for patients to access the medicine they need, when they need it.”Tienda Diabetes is currently developing a mobile version of Farmacia Online to give customers an alternative channel to buy the products they need while on the go.This collaboration represents a major step forward in giving Mexicans suffering from diabetes access to the medicine they need. As the provider of the first online pharmacy in Mexico and seeing a growing demand for specialized medicine and treatments, SOHIN plans to expand its offerings to treat other chronic-degenerative diseases, addressing both public and private healthcare needs.“The Mexican health care industry needs to adapt to a new generation of patients who are taking proactive roles in their health care and who expect real-time services at their fingertips,” said Guillermo Labastida, Executive, IBM Commerce. “SOHIN’s partnership with IBM, as well as with local doctors and pharmacists, gives patients affordable, faster, and more reliable health care support.”