UK medicines management app creator, Echo, has been acquired by healthcare company, McKesson, owner of LloydsPharmacy.
While the terms of the deal remain undisclosed, it is believed the buyout sees all of Echo’s existing investors exit, with McKesson becoming the majority shareholder and the remaining shares divided among Echo management and other staff.
Echo was founded in 2015 by Sai Lakshmi, who previously worked for Apple; and Stephen Bourke, who was previously a manager for the LloydsPharmacy’s online doctor service.
Lakshmi stepped down as chief executive of Echo in August last year and was subsequently replaced by ex-HelloFresh international chief operating officer, Roger Hassan.
The Echo app for iOS and Android enables patients to order NHS prescriptions and get their medication delivered to their door.
Patients simply tell the app the name of their GP and what repeat medication they take; details which can be inputted using a phone’s camera and with the help of Echo’s NLP tech.
Our goal is to develop innovative technologies that enable us to better serve our customers and patients by providing them with added choice and convenience
The app also alerts users when they need to take your medicine and when they are running low.
And, when a new prescription is required, Echo will send the appropriate request to a patient’s doctor and nominate a pharmacy partner on their behalf.
Once approved by a GP, medicine is dispatched by second-class post and patients pay the standard NHS charge if applicable.
All of this is enabled by the way echo has deeply integrated with the NHS Electronic Prescription Service (EPS), meaning it works with existing GP NHS England practice systems and technology.
The idea is to make medication management, especially for people who have chronic conditions and take regular medicine, as hassle-free as possible.
Catherine McDermott, chief digital officer at McKesson UK, said: “We know our customers are always looking for ways to make their lives easier by managing more things online.
“That’s why growing our digital capabilities is one of our top priorities.
“Our goal is to develop innovative technologies that enable us to better serve our customers and patients by providing them with added choice and convenience.”