If you missed it, then head over to Twitter and search for the hashtag #LiviaAppKE. If you didn’t miss it, then you must have noticed that the Twitter hashtag #LivaAppKE was trending all day yesterday. This is because Livia App, an App by Mombasa based Neotech Kenya Ltd meant to reduce the hustle and cost of acquiring medication from pharmacists and chemists (I am not sure if the two are one and the same), went live early yesterday. I have since downloaded the App, tried it, and I am here to give you a review of the App.
By complexity the Livia App is one of the simplest Apps you’d get at Google Play Store. By size the App has been launched at a meager 3.69MBs which means on 4G the App should download on your device in less than a second. After download the App doesn’t take much time to install so there isn’t much wait time at installation stage either.
After installing, the App will request to be allowed to access you location – go ahead and allow it. Then it will require you to enter your phone number after which it will ask you to allow it access your text messages. Then the App will send an authentication SMS containing a four digit code. The App will automatically read the code and authenticate itself.
After the authentication the App will require you to register your name, age, and sex. Other details that the App wants you to include but are not mandatory are your ID number, insurance company of which you can select APA Insurance, AAR Insurance, Africa Merchant Assurance Company, and Apollo Life Assurance (those in other insurance companies may want to ask Livia team when their insurance companies will be part of the App), and Insurance membership number. There are also options for including photos for the Front end and Back end.
Once your details have been captured, the App straight away allows you to place an order for medicine either through Make Order Option or Over the Counter Products Option. Under Make Order option, the App allows you to either take a picture of your current prescriptions and use the image to place your order, or search for medication in the Apps database. Once the drug you seek to order has been found, you will be allowed to add it to cart, confirm whether you’ll pick it yourself from a nearby chemist, or let it be delivered to you. The App will then send you an alert with the pricing once your order has been processed, and let you make the payment via MPESA.
The other option of over the counter prescriptions provides you with a list of drugs/items under several categories including Personal items, Supplements, Cold, Coughs and Flu, among others. Some of the categories have further categories but finally you’ll get a few drugs/items with their descriptions that explain their functions. For example, under Oral and Dental Health category, you’ll find mouthwash under which there is Chlorhexidine gluconate 0.2% and Freshburst Listerine (500mls). The two items have been described as follows:
At the right side of the items name, there is the cart link that will take you to the order page from where you can order for the very item. Further details on the item is provided at the order page, specifically with instructions on how to use the medication.
After successfully ordering for your medication from a nearby partner pharmacists, the App allows you to make your payment directly from within the App. As opposed to many local Apps that would require you to make payments via Pay Bill or Lipa na MPESA numbers, the App has MPESA integrated within the App such that the only thing you’ll be required to do is to input your MPESA service PIN. For most people the MPESA service PIN is the same as the usual MPESA PIN, although you can always set a different MPESA service PIN. The App will automatically deduct the due amount from your MPESA. As the App warns, always ensure you have sufficient funds in your MPESA before going through to make payment via MPESA.
Why you should opt for the Livia App
Livia App is a bridge between you and your pharmacist. Normally when you feel a little dizzy or experience an unknown pain, you’d rush to a nearby pharmacy – and if the pain occur past late hours you could be forced to find your way to mid town – hoping that in your town there is a pharmacist who operates past late night or operates in the 24 hour economy. Whatever the reason, going to the pharmacy may have their inconveniences – one of the main ones being long queues at the pharmacies. With the Livia App, all you need to do is to pull up your smartphone or tablet, place your order, and wait for the delivery. Depending on how far the pharmacy is far from you, the delivery time should be within minutes.
The second and probably the most important reason why you need to go for the Livia App is quality assurance. As an individual, you most probably always walk into any pharmacy in town, order for a drug that would relieve a particular pain, get a quote, make the payment, probably ask for water for taking your first dose, and that’s it. You never have the time to ask whether that pharmacy is legitimately registered and regulated by the pharmacy board. You never want to know whether the quality of medication you are receiving is assured. In some circumstances, you may end up being given medication that have passed their expiry dates.
The Livia App assures quality through verification and vetting of partner chemists. Only the chemists that have been duly registered and are regulated by the Pharmacy Board are allowed to be part of Livia App pharmacists.
A Livia App article over at HapaKenya states that one of the function of the Livia App is to allow you as the user of the App to also consult with the partner chemists. Well, there is way to consult with the Pharmacist using the number to call the pharmacist but a better way would have been to straight away include the consultation functionality which is not there at the moment. From the demo done by Livia guys and the experience it it is functionality that is yet to be introduced but we hope it is in the pipeline. Once that functionality goes live, we’ll keep you updated. In the meantime we may just mention that for medical consultations, there is the Daktari Popote App that we reviewed a while back.