Walgreens Expands Telehealth To Three More States, Plans To Cover 25 States By End Of 2015


In December 2014, Walgreens announced a partnership with telehealth vendor MDLive that would expand the company’s retail clinic and virtual pharmacist services by offering on-demand virtual physician consultations. The service was integrated into Walgreen’s increasingly sophisticated mobile health app. At launch, Walgreens offered virtual consultations to residents in California and Michigan, with plans to roll the service out to additional states over time.

It’s just six months later, Walgreens has announced an expansion to its telehealth program. Now, its program will be available to users in Colorado, Illinois, and Washington, a modest but significant increase in its overall national footprint. More importantly, the company confirmed that it intends to ramp up its rollout to meet a growing national demand for telehealth services. By year end, Walgreen’s says its telehealth platform will be available to residents in 25 states.  Walgreens divisional vice president of digital health Adam Pellegrini says, “Our society truly values anytime, anywhere convenience. And with a growing need for access to affordable health care services, we believe telehealth solutions can play an important role in helping to improve patient outcomes.” Telehealth visits cost Walgreen’s customers $49.

In addition to its growing physical presence, Walgreens also announced that it is expanding access to its telehealth service beyond its mobile health app. Customers will now also be able to access the service on tablet devices as well as on the company’s health and wellness website.

Walgreens has made a number of digital health-related announcements this year. The company is investing heavily in building a digital health platform to compete more aggressively in the primary care and urgent care markets. In January, Walgreens announced a new partnership with Qualcomm to help integrate patient-generated health data with the Walgreens mobile app. The program relies on Qualcomm’s medical device integration engine and will import data from a variety of medical devices like glucometers and digital blood pressure cuffs, as well as from activity trackers. That information is then incorporated into the Walgreens Balance Rewards program, which rewards users with healthy lifestyle choices with points redeemable for discounts at Walgreens stores.

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