Over the past month, around 95 percent of ride share requests disappeared for Dallas-based Alto as much of the city stayed home from work and avoided other social gatherings. The company made a quick decision to shift its drivers, vehicles, and navigating algorithms to help those staying home get their prescriptions with the help of Scripx, a Dallas-based virtual pharmacy.
The service will allow those who need their medicine to avoid the pharmacy ad receive safe, tamper-free, and confidential medicine delivery, all while keeping the Alto employees working. “We thought it was a perfect way to kind of utilize alternate assets, such as drivers and vehicles in order to in order to bring the Scripx product to their customers,” says Alto CEO Will Coleman.
Alto is also delivering groceries and on-demand meals from restaurants in the Dallas area, but has plans soon to expand to Fort Worth with its delivery services and continue there as ride share comes back after the pandemic. Drivers may spend the day delivering a mix of staples, prescriptions, and essential workers to their jobs, depending on what is most efficient. “Because of COVID, we’ve dramatically pivoted the business to focus on deliveries,” says Alto CEO Will Coleman. “We think that the tenants that we used to start around cleanliness, safety, and consistency of experience are frankly more important today than they were when he founded the company.”
For Scripx, the partnership allows them to expand their services from the in-house delivery drivers they employ, while they also look at shipping prescriptions to apartment complexes, places of employment, and even gyms (once they are open again). Scripx is not alone in delivery market, but where CVS and Walgreens charge for their prescription deliveries, Scripx does it for free. The delivery service is more efficient for patients, and increases the number of people who follow through with their prescriptions, reducing risk for the community at large. “The percentage of people not picking up their medication is huge,” says Scripx CEO Jon Eaton. “So how can we alter it and make it more efficient for the customer to receive their medication after delivery?”
Scripx has seen a growth as the medical industry goes increasingly virtual, though COVOD-19 is skewing their delivery numbers as patients move to 90-day refills rather than 30-day in order to avoid more contact. “There’s certainly an increased uptick in demand, with our different doctor partners moving to more of a telemedicine model,” Eaton says.
Since the ride share revenue has dropped off, Alto CEO Will Coleman says they have seen 50 percent week-over-week growth in their delivery services, with medicine, food, and other staples. He believes behavior will continue to be affected for 6-12 months, and is prepared to continue deliveries for as long as their is a need.
“Because of populations that are most at risk, particularly the elderly or those with pre-existing conditions, I think we see this is something that’s going to continue to grow pretty rapidly and likely stick around even past specific orders,” Coleman says. “Because people’s behaviors are going to change, so we want to be prepared to meet those needs.”
COVID-19 will change many industries, and the health market is one that is going increasingly virtual. “I think you’re going to see this trend not only uptick in the current future, but it potentially will become the new norm,” says Eaton. “That is where healthcare is going.”