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Boots buys health tech company Wiggly-Amps

Boots UK has bought health technology company Wiggly-Amps for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition will enable the high street retailer with 2,485 stores to strengthen its digital healthcare services.

According to the Wiggly-Amps’ website, the health tech business provides a range of physical devices including digital kiosks, panic buttons and blood pressure machines. The company also develops software solutions for the healthcare sector, including a solution that enables patients and GPs to manage prescriptions.

“At Boots UK we are always looking for ways to develop the role of community pharmacy and make things simpler and quicker for our customers and patients. We have a strong history of innovation – responding to meet the evolving needs of our customers, providing new products and services and supporting our colleagues to deliver these,” said Richard Bradley, pharmacy director at Boots UK.

“It’s an exciting time for the future of pharmacy and today’s announcement is just one of the ways we are strengthening the development of our digital healthcare ambitions.”

As part of the deal the healthcare products previously delivered by Wiggly-Amps Ltd will now be delivered through Engage Health Systems Ltd, while the company’s panic button alarm system will now be delivered through Little Green Button Ltd.

Last summer, Amazon took on the pharmacy sector with the acquisition of Pillpack. The full-service pharmacy is designed to serve people who manage multiple medications, by providing a personalised monthly service or pre-sorted prescription drugs, and using its own PharmarcyOS software platform to coordinate refills and renewals.

The move from Boots joins Amazon is an attempt to digitise a consumer-facing industry that is crying out for transformation. 

In the UK, 140 community pharmacies had closed between November 2016 and May 2018. Believed to be related to a slash in pharmacy funding by the government, pharmacies belonging to Lloyds Pharmacy, Boots, Rowlands and some smaller chains, mainly closed in the north-west of the country.