Walgreen Expands Telehealth Service to 25 States and Launches New App

Walgreens and telemedicine company MDLive announced a 20-state expansion to their virtual doctor service and a new health tracking application, MobiHealthNews reports (Pai, MobiHealthNews, 11/10).

Background

In December 2014, Walgreens and MDLive partnered to launch a mobile application to provide virtual doctor visits to pharmacy customers in California and Michigan. In June, the service expanded to include Colorado, Illinois and Washington.

With the app, users can see a board-certified physician via video chat for common ailments, such as upper respiratory infections, ear aches, sore throats and rashes. Appointments cost $49. Typically, MDLive virtual visits last about 15 minutes, and physicians may write prescriptions, when appropriate. However, the virtual visits are not intended to replace a yearly visit to a primary care doctor (iHealthBeat, 6/18).

Details of Telehealth Service Expansion

The expansion brings the mobile app-based telemedicine service to 20 additional states:

  • Alabama;
  • Arizona;
  • Connecticut;
  • Florida;
  • Indiana;
  • Iowa;
  • Maryland;
  • Minnesota;
  • Mississippi;
  • Missouri;
  • Montana;
  • Nevada;
  • New York;
  • North Carolina;
  • Ohio;
  • Oregon;
  • South Carolina;
  • Tennessee;
  • Virginia; and
  • Wisconsin (Walgreen release, 11/10).

Adam Pellegrini, Walgreen divisional vice president for digital health, said early iterations of their program had high abandonment rates because it required users to switch between MDLive and Walgreens apps.

He said that it's "really not about trying to find the next cool thing, or how complex can we make something," adding that their digital health strategy revolves around "three things: Make it simple, make it rewarding, and make it effective."

Details of New App

Meanwhile, Walgreen in partnership with Qualcomm Life, a developer of mobile health IT services, unveiled a new app -- called Walgreens Connect.

The new app allows customers to earn in-store rewards for tracking their health. The app connects with:

  • Blood glucose meters with the "Well at Walgreens" brand;
  • Blood pressure wrist monitors;
  • Third-party devices from Walgreen partners; and
  • Third-party devices from partners of partners, such as Qualcomm Life's 2net devices.

Walgreen said the main app has more than 500,000 connected devices supplying it with data (MobiHealthNews, 11/10).

Source: iHealthBeat, Thursday, November 12, 2015
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