Meet the Team: James Maciver

May 12, 2020
7 minute read
Brian Grassie

At Phlo Digital Pharmacy we are fortunate to have a team who are always looking for ways to improve the pharmacy experience. Our team consistently challenges the way pharmacy works and what the sector should like in the future. In the first installment of our "Meet the Developer" series, we speak with James Maciver, Tech Lead at Phlo Digital Pharmacy. James shares his thoughts on how tech and health go hand in hand, and why a collaborative workplace is vital.

Tell us about your role at Phlo Digital Pharmacy. 

I joined Phlo as a Tech Lead in September 2019 just as we were preparing to launch. It was a really exciting time to join the business, there was a constant buzz about the place.  

As the Tech Lead I'm responsible for the technical delivery of both our patient and pharmacy facing products. My focus is on enabling the team to build the best solutions possible for our end users, our patients. This comes down to ensuring we are building the right things, in the right way. It's a hugely varied role, with a single day possibly including design and planning sessions, meetings with partner businesses, job interviews and of course building and maintaining our products. Things are never boring, that's for sure. 


What do you enjoy most about your job? 

The product team I'm part of is made up of developers, designers and our product manager. There is such a wide range of skills across our team - we're always learning from each other, always pushing each other towards better solutions, and always encouraging each other to improve the way we do things. This close-knit, collaborative environment makes it easy to get up and go in the morning.  

The whole approach across the business is a breath of fresh air, everyone's always asking, how can we make our patients’ lives better? Having our end users close to heart and creating a product that makes peoples’ lives easier is what's important to me. I'm a believer that this approach is your quickest route to having a successful product. 


How did you get to where you are? 

Once I had a taste of programming in high school, I knew I wanted to be a software developer. Programming allowed me to use my problem-solving skills to produce something tangible, and not just an answer to an equation.  

From high school on the Isle of Lewis, I was drawn in by the bright lights of Glasgow. After four years at university and a range of roles spanning energy supply chains, airports and the public sector, here I am.  

I'm lucky that something I love doing is an acceptable career. Developers have the world at their feet, there are so many industries you can work in and problems in so many different areas that are waiting to be solved, there's no limit to what you can be part of. 

What excites you in the world of tech right now? 

I recently had the opportunity to visit a host of tech companies over in Toronto where a meeting with Sidewalk Labs grabbed my attention. A group of architects and technologists there are reimagining what our cities look like. They're hoping to take a slice of Toronto's waterfront and to create a sustainable, affordable and active-travel friendly community. Having the opportunity to take such an expansive blank slate and build something new without the constraints of existing infrastructure is an irresistible project. Innovations they showed off to us included heated paving blocks which will help melt snow, reconfigurable traffic lanes and pavements so spaces can be repurposed with the click of a button, and reconfigurable living accommodation so as families grow, their homes can grow with them. These were just small parts of a much bigger vision. 

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

Whitewater kayaking. My weekends commonly involve waking up at a ridiculous hour, loading a kayak onto the roof of my car, and taking a three-hour drive across Scotland to find some water to play on. These trips can range from the adrenaline inducing to a scenic meander, either way - a great way to unwind.  

James vs. The rapids of Glen Etive

When I'm not touring the country, I'm a seasoned beer snob. I'm usually found hanging about local beer bars and festivals, as well as brewing my own stupidly strong beer. 


What makes Phlo different from traditional pharmacies? 

While traditional pharmacies have remained stagnant - providing the same old services in the same old way, at Phlo we're using technology to enable our patients to manage their healthcare when and where they want. The expertise of our pharmacy team is only ever a click of a button away, and we can get your medication into your hands without any disruption to your day. At Phlo our dedication to innovation in the pharmacy space is going to see us redefine what a pharmacy looks like. 


Phlo is hiring! If you’d like to join James and the team in shaping the future of pharmacy you can find out more here.

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