Chaguzi (formerly PillFinder)is a mobile application (app) that can be downloaded freely. It is currently available for android phones only. Other versions will become available in the future. The app is available as standard and premium.
The standard version enables users to input any pharmaceutical product and find a location/store near them with the product in question. It has a convenient menu that provides product options to choose from once you input 3 letters in the search function. In addition to these features, the premium version provides users with the prices of the products in questions at the different stores.
How the application works:
The application comes with four built in modules. PillFinder, Pharmacy Locator, Pharmacy Directory and Drug Directory Modules.
For the functionality of PillFInder and Pharmacy Locator modules to be realised, the user of the app is required to have their GPS turned.
The user inputs the name of the pharmaceutical or medical product they are looking for into the search function on the app. Given the users GPS coordinates, the app searches its database and provides the user with pharmacy locations with the product in stock within a 2 kilometer radius (the default). Users can manually select a wider radius from a drop down menu. The application also provides the contact information of the pharmacies, as well as a map to direct the user.
Pharmacy Locator Module
The Pharmacy locator module by default displays the list of pharmacies within a 2KM radius of the user of the app.
The pharmacy list comprises of the name of the pharmacy, contact, address,its distance from the user and a link providing directions to the location of the pharmacy.
The mobile application allows users to search for pharmaceutical and medical supplies at pharmacies of their preference to establish if these are in stock.
The application will also provide information on prices of products sold by pharmacies for those pharmacies that will be open to sharing this information.
Drug and Pharmacy Directory Module
These modules simply display the list of drugs in the NDA registry and the list of Pharmacies in the country (Currently Uganda).
The application has been built initially for android, but will be expanded to the iOS (originally, iPhone Operating System) platform. The application has a database of all medicines registered in Uganda by the National Drug Authority in both brand and non-proprietary names. The database also contains drug names that are internationally recognised even though they might not be registered in Uganda; this allows users to identify comparable products to what they might be looking for, for example Tylenol is an internationally recognized brand of paracetamol, and while Tylenol may not be registered on the local market, users will be provided with a list of alternative brands of paracetamol when the search for ‘Tylenol’.
Integration with pharmacy software and databases
In order to the application to provide users with reliable information about the inventory status of different pharmacies, the pharmacies need to provide this information. So, we will enrol pharmacies that have automated inventory so that their data can be updated regularly. The default updates will happen hourly.
The application has been built with an ‘adapter’ that allows it to connect with software used by pharmacies that subscribe to the application. The adapter allows the application to extract key variables from these pharmacy databases in realtime, so that the application is up-to-date on the inventory the pharmacy. Different adapters have been built to allow integration with different kinds of software used by different pharmacies.