Potential Pharmacies: a project investigating the futures of the pharmacy
This project proposes five different types of pharmacy, each one demonstrating a new model of interaction between the patient and the pharmacy. These are not intended as business models to be implemented or as predictions of what pharmacies will look like in the future. Instead these are a collection of design proposals that embody ideas that will be pertinent to the development of the pharmacy over the next five to ten years. This project was a collaboration between Lloydspharmacy, Design Interactions and the Helen Hamlyn Centre, where I was a Research Associate.
The five potential pharmacies:
Each branch of Open Pharmacy serves a local community of people who are not referred to as ‘patients’ or ‘customers’ but as ‘members’. Each member of Open Pharmacy recognises that their personal health forms a small but significant part of the community’s health.
Every item of medication available in Open Pharmacy, including prescription medication, is labelled with a rating of its efficacy, as determined by the people that use it.
From time to time, Open Pharmacy will campaign to improve a particular aspect of public health and integrate the message into its advertising. This example is targeted at people suffering from a cold on their daily commute. It encourages them not to infect others.
The Pro-Scribe pharmacy is renowned for the no-nonsense advice dished out by its resident pharmacist. The name of the pharmacy refers to the infamous Proscription – a formal (but non-legal) agreement between the pharmacist and the patient, stating that the patient will not undertake activities that will damage their health. The smoking proscription is the most popular.
At the Self-Health pharmacy the patient is their own expert. The pharmacy affords its customers as much autonomy as possible and provides them with information as and when they need it. Many of the prescriptions filled by the Self-Health pharmacy are automatically dispensed by machine (below).
Life Pharmacy promotes an extremely wide definition of healthcare. How you are feeling is as important as what medicine you are taking. Contact with Life Pharmacy is sustained and ongoing rather than an intermittent response to illness. Micro-appointments (below) are the everyday means of contact between the patient and the pharmacist.
Coffee + Pharmacy
This hybrid shop is not a pharmacy that happens to serve coffee. Rather, it is a fully-fledged coffee shop with a pharmacy en-suite. Coffee + Pharmacy practices a form of “undercover healthcare” for people that have an aversion to the constant reminders that they are ill. The shop provides all the services of a normal pharmacy, but much of this happens behind the scenes. The 20 minute wait for a prescription to be dispensed can be enjoyed while reading the paper and sipping a latté.