21 May 2008
In December 2001, a chemist, Dr. Mamdouh Ezz Samy established a traditional pharmacy in one of the quiet districts in Asiout. Samy's ambition and determination to make his project successful were the factors behind updating his pharmacy with software solutions which pushed his project ahead.
Samy's first experience with IT started when he had to stay for long in the pharmacy in the beginning to receive very few customers which made him get bored except for the computer he used as a source of amusement and useful means of spending his vast free time by browsing the Internet. Then, he went on thinking on how to make use of the exciting features of his computer to develop his pharmacy instead of using it only as a means of amusement, so he started by building a website for the pharmacy including simple topics about diseases: symptoms and medicine, feel free to visit his website at: www.elmalakrx.com/Arabic
By the passing time, an increasing number of visitors hit the website which encouraged Dr. Samy to develop it and add new and updated medical information; moreover, the website was elected in 2006 for the e-content Award in Egypt (ITIDA) and won the honorary prize in the field of health.
Dr. Samy made use of various software applications in building and maintaining the website such as a photo editor, video and movie maker and web design tools. He believes that his real achievement is represented in the valid and accurate information about medicine usage he provides to the website visitors who are encouraged to share their Questions and Answers through the website service of Ask the Chemist and the other services presented in Arabic through the website, in addition to the high self-esteem he gained from the upcoming famous pharmacy.
As for the obstacles Dr. Samy faced in running his project he says: "the website of the pharmacy is not yet profitable due to the absence of online shopping concepts from the market, instead we offer all our online services free of charge" then he adds, "one of the most difficult challenges that faced the development of the project is the useful and trusted medical information to be published online, I overcome this lack of knowledge when I bought some valuable relevant medical references and kept checking the latest updates from the other online resources" then he continues listing the difficulties he faced saying, "not only the lack of the Arabic e-content is added to the challenges I faced, but also the technical challenges due to inserting Arabic content in the programs of creating and designing WebPages."
To him, proving the credibility of the accuracy of information provided through the website is another challenge, but he has overcome it by getting an approved certificate from the online organization for medical e-content quality, namely, HON code which revises the website annually and updates its certificate to assure the validity and accuracy of the information presented through the website.