A review of the Livia Dawa app; a medical drugs home delivery service

The other day my daughter suffered from allergies occasioned by the cold weather and the teacher recommended she goes back home. From the scared tone in my house help’s voice, I could tell it was serious and she needed medical help. I asked them to send me the prescription of the drugs she normally uses whenever she gets the allergies. You see I remembered about a recent launch of the Livia app and thought to put it to test and if successful, it meant that I did not have to leave my job and go back home. It also meant that the house help would not have to leave my daughter unattended to go in search of the drugs.
Livia is a new app that enables one order over the counter medical drugs through a network of interconnected drug chemists/pharmacies in Kenya. The app which is free to download on the Google play store was recently launched in Nairobi and is currently at over 1,000 installs. The app allows you to order for drugs from a chemist near you and they are delivered to your doorstep.

We decided to try out the app. As mothers, we can already see the different ways it will make our life easier. There is something about kids only falling sick at night. That also happens to be the night when you realize you didn’t stock up on the cetirizine or a paracetamol.

The Livia app registration interface
The Livia app registration interface

User Design & Interface
– The downloading procedure is painless as the app is not very big at 10Mb thus one can either use free Wi-Fi or data bundles.
– The installation process is pretty straight forward, utilizes SMS verification to register one with their cell phone number. They should however also consider enabling users to sign up with their Facebook or Gmail accounts to make the process even faster.
– You will need to fill in details such as your names, gender, age, email address and phone number as part of the registration process
– You will then get a code via SMS to use for the logging into your account.
– You will need to accept the terms and conditions in order to log in.
– Its user interface is friendly, it has a clean look.
– It has a simple 6 item menu making it very easy to navigate.
– The are sub menus that enable one upload a prescription photo or even get over the counter medicine such as a paracetamol or supplements

What we like
• Livia app makes it easy to get medical drugs at the convenience of your home or office. You can get medication at the wee hours of the night or for someone who does not live close to you and may be in urgent need of the drugs.
• You get the drugs from the nearest pharmacy that sells them at an affordable price and this is certainly music to everyone’s ears because times are hard.
• The pharmacies under Livia are all regulated by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board which means that you are assured of quality services and of any problem you know where to report.
• The app is very interactive and you get a real-time consultation with a pharmacist which is very helpful in case of any clarifications. We would be happier if we had an ‘Ask Doc’ feature where we can talk to doctors for assessment then pay an additional fee.
• You can actually order personal items such as lubricants (KY-Jelly) and condoms via the app using the ‘over the counter products menu. This will prove to be a hit with many who don’t like the embarrassment that comes with buying these items at a brick and motor store.

What they can improve on
• Livia app does not give a cost estimate or price for the medical drug one selects even after tapping on the ‘request cost/price’ option. This sucks because you don’t want to place an order before you know much the medicine really costs.
• The app is currently only available in major towns and is yet to be launched in other parts of the country. These are the same places that have 24hr pharmacies. It would be great if the app was also available in the rural areas where it will be very helpful. With boda-bodas making transport easier, no way the app shouldn’t be available to our folks back in the villages.
• There is a minimum number of tablets one can order with some like Actal tums at 8 tablets minimum and Bruffen at a minimum of 10 tablets.
• It is important to add a field on ‘known side effects’ for every drug. This comes in handy especially to people with hyperacidity as they are able to avoid certain drugs.

My experience
I managed to buy my drugs within a few minutes after uploading the photo of the prescription. That is the best part because it means that people cannot just send fake prescriptions, self-medicate or get medication that could harm them. The whole transactions took under ten minutes and the fact that they allow mobile money transactions made everything easier. I paid the additional amount that was required for delivery and thought it was fair and I was happier because I bought my drugs from the pharmacy that offered the cheapest drug in the area.

The Livia app has a minimum limit on the number of tablets one can order
The Livia app has a minimum limit on the number of tablets one can order

We would recommend Livia app if;
– You or your loved ones if you/they are on lifetime medication for chronic diseases
-If you have young children, especially those under five years who often get sick at night or during the day when you are away.
– You are young women who either need fast and urgent access to e-pills after unprotected sex or need to urgently order for CDs or family planning contraceptives
We all get sick at some point and diseases never send us a warning. Livia gives you that convenience at a time when you are too sick and weak to walk around looking for medicine to get you feeling better.

Get the free Livia app from the Google play store.

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