Alex Rigby suffers from a range of health conditions, but he still counts himself among the lucky ones.
Alex’s immune system is suppressed as a result of medications he is taking after undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer of the tongue. Yet, on the positive side, doctors formally notified him in March that he is in remission.
“It was a big relief to hear that,” he tells MedAdvisor.
Not long after the news, COVID-19 lockdowns were announced, placing pressure on our nation’s hospitals and pharmacies, and making it more vital than ever that people such as Alex are able to socially distance as much as possible.
“I am still immune compromised, but I feel lucky I am not going through chemotherapy right now and am in remission,” Alex, 68, says.
“I only have to see the cancer specialists once a year now. It is a good feeling.”
Alex is in lockdown with his wife, Jill, at their home in Lowood, in south-east Queensland.
He has arthritis, but as he notes “most people my age have that”. He also suffers from high blood pressure, lower back pain from lumbar spondylosis due to an accident while serving in the Australian Army, and a lung condition as a result of exposure to asbestos.
Meanwhile, Jill suffers from severe asthma.
“She hasn’t been out of the house for weeks now, as that is safer,” Alex notes.
“I do all the shopping and Jill is staying at home as much as she can, and she is keeping busy with her stitch work.
“We’re keeping ourselves as isolated as possible.”
With the help of MedAdvisor, Alex is also ordering his medications through the app, and his local pharmacy is delivering them to him.
“I don’t even see the script — the doctor sends the script straight to the pharmacy,” he says.
“The deliveries are just left at the front door.”
Alex only leaves the house to shop or get a blood test. For all other medical appointments, he uses his GP’s telehealth service to chat over video conferencing.
“Usually, I see the doctor in person once every two to three weeks, but now I am solely seeing him via telehealth,” he says.
“The GP can then send the scripts to the chemist, and then they can deliver the medication to me, so it’s reducing my exposure to a large degree.”
Alex first came across MedAdvisor in 2015 when he was diagnosed with cancer.
“The radiographer said there was an app that allowed me to see, in the one place, what drugs I was on,” he says.
Most importantly, MedAdvisor eased his apprehension at a time when he was under enormous stress.
“When you are told you have cancer, the first thing you think is that you’re going to die, so having all the information on the app was helpful” he says.
“It takes the worry away.”
One of the best parts of the app, according to Alex, is the large swathe of information on the various medications.
“Doctors will often change your medication and one of the great things is that I can go into the app and find out information about the new drug at my own pace,” he says.
“It’s also great for remembering when to take your pills because when you get to my age, you tend to forget.”
MedAdvisor has recently announced a number of developments to help customers such as Alex stay safe and healthy during the pandemic, including an extensive delivery service rollout with hundreds of participating pharmacies.
Customers can click and collect their medication or opt for home delivery.
The app also features a snap and send option, allowing you to take a picture of your script, pay securely by credit card, and send it straight to your pharmacist.
We have also added our own telehealth service as well, extending the GP Link feature to enable patients to access health-related telephone consultations with their own doctors or with one of MedAdvisor’s on-demand GPs.
MedAdvisor data shows pharmacists are processing double – and in some cases triple – the number of scripts as usual, placing them under considerable stress.
According to Alex, the revolution in contactless medication delivery — with minimal queuing at pharmacies and no more unnecessary waiting in doctors’ surgeries — is the way of the future.
“In the future, even after (the pandemic), I can see the telehealth consults with the GP continuing where possible,” he says.
“Instead of seeing my doctor every two to three weeks, in person, I can move the in-person appointments to once every few months and see him the rest of the time via telehealth for a check-up.
“It makes things a lot easier for everyone.”
MedAdvisor is committed to playing an important role in helping you to keep track of your medications. Our medication management platform is focused on addressing the gap and burden of medication adherence. To know more click here.
This story was written by Johanna Leggatt. Johanna is an Australian journalist with more than 15 years’ experience in both print and online. She has worked across a wide range of subject areas, including health, property, finance, interiors, and arts.