Welcome to today’s edition on THE Microscope!
Disclaimer! This review is purely from MY test experience with help from my able reviewers. It is to let all Ghanaians and all who read have a tester’s view of the app under review and to bring out the great features and the not so great features and/or bugs which will require some working on to make the app better for consumption.
Our App under Review for today is Amatsii.com designed by Amatsii Ltd to aid Ghanaians find drugs, consumables and pharmacies anywhere in Ghana.
||Mobile App (Search Engine for Drugs and Pharmacies)
The App size from Google Play Store is 9.5M however this will increase on your phone depending on cached data and user data. The version tested (above) according to Google Play Store, was updated on April 12, 2018 and has seen 100+ installs. So we have a fairly up to date application on our hands today! The application is currently on Android only and requires version 4.1 and up before one can install on phone to use.
It was tested on an Android 6.0 phone.
Amatsii.com puts the power in our hands by giving us extensive knowledge about the drugs we take. It further details whether these drugs are on NHIS and which pharmacies sell them, giving directions from your current location to the pharmacy. It also details the working hours of the pharmacies, with a contact number to get in touch. This is a great app and Amatsii Ltd deserves some accolades 👏 for putting this together.
Amatsii.com has a web portal in addition to the App so we will tackle that one in a separate review.
Let’s get started!
The App on opening has four (4) tabs- the Search, Favourites, Chat and Settings. The Search tab enables the user to search for drugs or pharmacies with a lot of relevant information. This is accessible without having to be registered on the platform. For the App to function effectively, you need to turn on the location/GPS service else you will see delays in locating pharmacies for drug searches. The App will notify you to enable your GPS to use all the features of the app in the event where location is not enabled.
Fig. 1 & 2: Splashscreen and search engine feature.
One feature which makes User Experience difficult is the use of the back button to exit the App instead to go back one activity/page. The back button on the phone as a ‘norm’ is to go back one page. So although I knew that the back button is to exit the application, I always ended up pressing it to be asked whether I want to exit the application. This should be looked at.
To search for a drug, enter the name of the drug, location and insurance. You can, however, search with only the drug name and it will use your current location and NHIS as the defaults for location and health insurance, respectively. The search bar for the drug name auto-suggests drug names.
Amatsii uses the NHIS as the default health insurance for the drugs search feature. Results show the manufacturer if present, dosage and type of the drug (injectable solution, tab, etc.) Clicking on an item in the results shows ingredients used and further description, indication, toxicity and absorption of each of them.
Fig 3 – 5: Drug information details.
From the drug search, pharmacies within the location used can be viewed by clicking on the pharmacies icon/text. This list has the details of the pharmacy and whether they are open or closed. The catch here however is when a location is specified, the results presented use a wider catchment area to find pharmacies. This can be misleading. Clicking on a particular pharmacy gives more details of the pharmacy.
You can also filter the search results by dosage and insurance although the only insurance for all the drugs is NHIS
Fig. 6 Filter drug results by dosage
From the drug search, you can also chat with a pharmacist. If you have not logged in prior to clicking on chat, you will be presented with the login page. On logging in, you are notified on whether it was successful or not. When successful, it is expected that you will be sent to the chat activity/page since that is what led to the login but it is not so. You need to go back and start the process by searching for the drug, scrolling through the results to find the desired one and clicking on the chat icon/text again. The chat activity/page shows the time the pharmacist was last seen, the name of the drug and the chat area. You can always select from the dropdown at the top of the list for any previous chats had. Any new chat is treated as such. The only issue is there is no pharmacist to chat with always which is understandable as that service is not paid for. A recommendation is for Amatsii to have a paid subscription to have access to pharmacists always. Mobile Money is one avenue that can be used to receive payments.
Fig. 7-9 Chat with pharmacist
To get the best of the app, an expert system can be incorporated here for solutions to questions that will come.
You can search for pharmacies within your current location (default) or you can enter another location. You can also leave the pharmacy name field blank but enter a location. This will bring all pharmacies within that area. You can filter the search by selecting an insurance which is accepted by pharmacies in that location. The search field suggests names as you type. This is a very good feature as it can help you to get either a drug or pharmacy name right.
Fig. 10 & 11 Pharmacies search details. NB: The results as shown in the snapshots are not serial.
One issue though is on selecting a particular location while searching for a pharmacy the search results always return with details from a wider catchment area. This can be misleading.
The search results within the list provided shows the name of the pharmacy, its claim status (which I believe is whether the pharmacy has verified information) and this shows with a green tick by that pharmacy, favourite pharmacies, location, health insurance accepted and whether it is open or closed. You can always add a pharmacy to your favourite pharmacies by clicking on the heart by it. All favourite pharmacies can be seen under the favourite tab. You can’t add to your favourite pharmacies if you are not logged in. It will be interesting to see the effect of favourite pharmacies in action.
Clicking on map within the search results brings a map with markers/pointers to all the pharmacies within that area. You can go back by clicking either the list or the arrow on the screen.
Fig. 12 &13 Pharmacy results map and navigation to pharmacy.
You can also click on navigate by a pharmacy and this will ask you to select the app to open with (chosen from apps installed on your phone for navigation which in this case was Uber and Google Maps. This is a very great integration as with Uber, it calculates the amount of money to be spent from your current location to the destination (which is the pharmacy). Both apps give the direction and helps you to get to the pharmacy. You can decide to save your choice of navigation tool such that it will always be used for navigation.
Fig. 14 & 15 Google Maps and Uber Integration
When a particular pharmacy accepts a lot of the insurance provided, the listing shows it in a horizontal format. Scroll the logos to the left or right to see the remainder.
Clicking on any of the pharmacies show further details of the pharmacies: whether it has been claimed, the id, name, whether it is open or closed based on their working hours, the physical address of the pharmacy, map and pharmacy details-contact info, health insurance accepted and service hours. The Services Offered tab shows payments accepted, health services, counselling services and consulting services.
Fig. 16-18 Pharmacy details. NB: Images shown are not serial.
There however is a hardcoded string that shows for almost all the pharmacies just directly above the map. There should be a placeholder text so that if the specific words to a pharmacy doesn’t exist, this placeholder text will show.
You can always filter the search by changing either the location or the health insurance. One provider can be selected at a time. It will be helpful if there can be multi-selection of insurance providers for the filter.
Fig. 19 Filter pharmacy by health insurance
REGISTRATION AND LOGIN
On sign up, an auto-generated email is sent to your mail for activation where you set your password. When one wants to reset the password, the email sent although does the job should be captioned differently as it comes with the same link as is for new registrant (Update Your Account).
One of the tabs within the App is the Chat. It enables the user to speak with a pharmacist on any issue. When within the Chat Tab, some personal information is asked for, which is to prep the pharmacist on who the chat is about. This can be information on the person filling out the form or for another person. As stated earlier, making this area a paid subscription will solve the issue of pharmacists not being online always.
Fig. 20-22 Talk to Pharmacist
This tab shows the list of all pharmacies that have been marked as one’s favourite. It grants easy access to them.
Fig. 23 Favourite pharmacies
Login to the app to access the favourites, chats and the side effect reports as well as to edit your profile. You can always logout of the app by clicking the logout button while logged in.
SETTINGS: SIDE EFFECT REPORTS
Side Effect Reports are to record any adverse reactions encountered after taking any medication. This is a great feature that can help in research purposes as these effects are looked into. It also serves as a way to get additional advice on what to do when presented with such cases. The problem however is after one creates a side effect report, there is no information (message or notification or email) on what to do next. If this feature is not for the reasons stated above, then it should be stated explicitly what this is for.
You can create a new report by clicking on the new, + icon, at the bottom right corner. You will be required to fill in some personal data. The ‘Other’ element on personal details form needs validation. After which the form for the report appears. The gender field needs some formatting: the radio buttons should be well placed. Also, the error message generated when adding another drug with no details asks for name of patient instead of name of drug. Form on completion, presents the user with the option to go back and make edits, save or save and submit. One will therefore assume that the save will save it for a later date-to either edit before sending or otherwise. However clicking on save asks whether one wants to submit, same reaction as the outcome for clicking on save and submit. The feature should save only to be submitted at a later date or edited before submission. The details of the report can always be viewed. There should be some feedback to the user after submission. The reports created are synced and can be viewed in the web portal. It can also be printed or exported into XML (a mark-up language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents) which to a lay person trying to export reports will be of no value. It should also be exported into PDF or Excel (i.e. if edits are to be allowed).
Fig. 24 – 26 Some snapshots from Side Effect Report
Support/Talk to Us
To ask for support or to talk to the developers, one needs to tap the Talk to Us link which opens in a chat window where details of previous chats can be selected. It also shows the last time support was seen in chat which as at the time of reviewing this app was 2 months ago hence no response was obtained. To go by the chat feature for support, there always has to be someone on hand to answer inquiries. If it won’t be possible to have 24/7 support, the times of availability should be put out for users to know the best time to reach out. You however need to be logged in before you can contact support.
There we have it folks, the first part (Mobile version) of the Review for Amatsii.com. As stated earlier, this is a great App and with these changes applied, it will serve the health needs of our country and help in achieving a healthier, happier home 😊
The Review for the web portal is up next. Stay tuned!
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