Nov 30, 2020|

JD Pharmacy Closes the Digital Gap for Elderly People


by Vivian Yang

At a JD pharmacy store in Jinan, Shandong province, Ms. Zhang, 78, was sitting in the lounge inside the store to get her blood pressure checked by one of the assistants. At the same time, another store assistant was helping her to verify prescriptions with the pharmacist and fetch her medicines at the counter. About 10 minutes later, with the help of the assistants, Ms. Zhang left the store with her medicines and health suggestions provided by the pharmacy’s staff.

Such scene is a common practice in JD Health’s brick-and-mortar pharmacies in Shangdong province, said Junhong Liu, a staff member in charge of the operations of JD pharmacy’s chain stores in the province where eight of JD Health’s self-operated offline pharmacy stores are in operation.

JD pharmacy store in Jinan, Shandong province

While younger Chinese people have embraced the convenience of digital technologies such as online shopping, digital payment and telemedicine, many elderly people are at risk of being left behind.

To narrow the digital gap for the aging population, the Chinese government has recently issued specified plans to help elderly people to overcome barriers to using smart technologies while maintaining traditional services for them. JD’s pharmacy assistance to elderly is a good example.

“Despite of limited space of our store, we created this special lounge area for elderly customers who have difficulties moving around,” said Liu. “No matter if they have digital or paper prescriptions, our staff will provide thoughtful services for their entire medicine buying process.”

An assistant of JD pharmacy is guiding an elderly customer to make online medicine orders

For elderly customers like Ms. Zhang, getting to grips with high-tech robots is no easy feat. Inside the pharmacy chain stores, JD’s intelligent health screening robot can detect users’ body conditions and monitor blood pressure, oxygen, sugar level and ECG. Many elderly customers are curious about the machine but are often at a loss as to how to handle it.

JD Health’s intelligent health screening robot

One of the main jobs for JD pharmacy’s assistants is to guide elderly customers to scan the robot’s QR code, follow its instructions to do the tests and print their health reports.

“By using this machine, as an elderly person, I have not only experienced advanced technology, but also gained confidence,” said one elderly woman who lives by herself. “Learning new things doesn’t seem that difficult. JD is being very helpful to us. ”

For the pharmacy staff, there’s no better reward than customers’ recognition. Liu said that they are creating more and more healthcare support for elderly customers, such as offering them health drinks in the store, and hosting free lectures to promote health knowledge.

    One JD pharmacy provide assistances to convenience elderly customers’ medicine services

“These lectures are highly welcomed by our elderly customers as they have strong demand but limited channels to access them.” The latest lecture topic we organized focused on the mental health of elderly people. There will be more and more such activities in the future, said Liu.