Cherry and DoctorBox Are Making Electronic Prescriptions Available for Mobile Use

01/2024 - Back to overview

Cherry Digital Health GmbH is collaborating with DoctorBox, the super app for health, to introduce a fully digital e-prescription solution to the market.

Electronic prescriptions have become a part of everyday healthcare in Germany; however, one major drawback remains. Users cannot use it solely in a digital format; They still have to go to the pharmacy themselves or scan a QR code from a paper printout. To address this issue, Cherry, the prominent telematics provider, is set to launch a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution that can be seamlessly integrated into various apps. Cherry is supported by the health platform DoctorBox. With the help of this solution, users can easily view, manage, and digitally forward electronic prescriptions.

Munich / Berlin, January 31st, 2024 - Cherry Digital Health GmbH, a subsidiary of the publicly traded company Cherry SE and a leading provider of eHealth card terminals is collaborating with DoctorBox, the super app for health, to introduce a fully digital e-prescription solution to the market. This solution comprises a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform paired with a software development kit (SDK). App providers, including pharmacies with webshops or health insurance companies, can seamlessly integrate this solution into their mobile applications for user-friendly accessibility. Patients can then conveniently fill prescriptions through these apps, eliminating the need to physically visit a pharmacy or capture QR codes through photographs. This initiative serves as an opportunity for both mail-order and traditional pharmacies to enhance their online business, considering that over 80 percent of their medication-related revenue is derived from prescription drugs.

German Health insurance providers can integrate the service into their apps and thus provide policyholders with a valuable additional service. Through this service, patients gain the ability to verify the availability of their required medication at various pharmacies, enabling them to either reserve it or, if needed, opt for home delivery via courier service.

Smartphone Becomes Personal Pharmacy Terminal

With the existing fulfillment methods, the options mentioned above are not possible: although the electronic prescription is available digitally, it can only be accessed via the electronic health card readers in pharmacies in a user-friendly way. Patients must therefore still visit a pharmacy in person. The difference to paper prescriptions is therefore only marginal. The only other option is a dedicated app by Gematik, the German National Agency for Digital Medicine. However, registration is a major hurdle and only a tiny proportion of patients decide to use this option. The SaaS solution developed by Cherry and DoctorBox addresses these challenges by converting virtually any NFC-enabled smartphone into an eHealth card terminal for processing electronic health cards. This transformation is made  possible through the eHealth CardLink specification published by Gematik on January 25th, enabling the secure integration of a tested and approved interface into apps for the redemption of electronic prescriptions.

The completion of the development and the submission of the procedure to Gematik for approval is anticipated by the end of the first quarter of 2024. DoctorBox is leveraging its extensive expertise in app integration and handling sensitive patient data in this collaborative effort. With over 1.2 million users of the DoctorBox app and the management of 5 million data points, it stands as the leading healthcare platform in Germany. Meanwhile, Cherry is contributing its considerable experience in data security, regulation, and telematics infrastructure, establishing itself as the fastest-growing provider in the field with its card terminals for medical practices and pharmacies.

Björn Lehnhoff, CEO of DoctorBox, emphasizes the significance of this solution in advancing towards a patient-centered healthcare system. He notes, "With Cherry's extensive experience in telematics solutions, we can now enhance one of the most common points of contact - visiting the pharmacy - to be much more user-friendly and efficient for all parties."

Gerrit Schick, Managing Director of Digital Health at Cherry, underscores the importance of a robust and user-friendly mobile product that meets all security requirements. He states, "This is precisely what we are introducing to the market. As a leading app developer in the healthcare sector, DoctorBox is a crucial partner in achieving this goal."