Online pharmacy looking for 900% growth after Bristol healthtech pioneer Invatech steps in to help

July 29, 2022

Innovative Bristol online pharmacy PillTime is gearing up for huge growth after relocating to larger, state-of-the-art premises and introducing a new operating system from city-based Invatech Health.

PillTime, which is pioneering the use of daily dose medicine pouches and supplies around 11,000 NHS patients across the UK, moved to the 26,000 sq ft base in Cribbs Causeway earlier this year.

At the same time it installed cutting-edge robotics in a bid to significantly enhance future productivity and capacity, with forecasted growth of around 900% over the next two to three years.

However, teething problems over Easter weekend meant it struggled to seamlessly integrate all the new systems and processes while physically moving premises, which affected its service delivery and customer support.

PillTime CEO Leighton Humphreys was supported by experts from Invatech Health during the difficult transition while it installed its revolutionary new patient medication record (PMR) system Titan into PillTime’s new system.

Invatech Health CEO Tariq Muhammad is a former community pharmacist who has worked with independent pharmacies around the UK, as well as larger online businesses, to integrate Titan into their workflows.

Alongside integration work, Mr Muhammad and his team supported PillTime with design, governance and pharmacy expertise as the company struggled to meet its usual high standards for dispensing medicines to patients.

PillTime has now recovered and, with dispensations close to pre-move volumes and with greater shipping speeds available, is poised to fulfil its potential for growth.

Mr Humphreys said: “We had ambitious plans for our move, but things turned out to be more complicated than we had envisaged.

“So we are extremely grateful to Tariq and his team of pharmacists for the support they provided.

“We thank our customers for sticking with us during this challenging period for our business and we’re looking ahead now.

“Titan will make a major difference to how we operate and grow, alongside the cutting-edge robotics and innovative pouching system which are unique at this scale.”

PillTime, which was founded in 2016, hopes to hit the 100,000-patient mark by the end of next year following the deployment of Titan – a figure Mr Humphreys says is still ‘only a drop in the ocean’.

The firm’s offering of medication in easy-to-understand pouches provides a solution to problems ranging from reducing the requirement for carers and nursing homes to minimising hospital admissions through medication errors.

Mr Humphreys added: “There are far too many instances of medications being properly dispensed but incorrectly taken, leading to people not getting better as they should do.

“In some parts of the world the pouching system has become standard because it’s fool proof, as long as the patient is fully aware.

“We want that to happen here, too. Our mission is cost savings to the NHS and a better quality of convenience and level of healthcare. “

Mr Muhammad said he was pleased to support PillTime. “Having established our systems in the community pharmacy sector, we are now enjoying rolling out Titan Enterprise to innovative online pharmacy businesses,” he added.

“We’re helping them process prescriptions safely at a speed which is unheard of until now.

“Of course, it’s great to be collaborating with another innovative Bristol-based business which is looking to help transform the way that people manage and access their medication.

“Now all systems are fully operational, we are excited to see how PillTime develops over the coming months and years.”

Last year Invatech Health secured a further £950,000 loan from Innovate UK, under a programme to support game-changing innovations in the UK’s SME community.

Pictured: Tariq Muhammad of Invatech Health, left, with PillTime CEO Leighton Humphreys 

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