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Walgreens enhances digital capabilities

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DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens has expanded access to telehealth services and brought new mobile functionality to its Balance Rewards loyalty program, including integration with Apple Pay.

Walgreens Connect app screenshot

Walgreens Connect app

This month Walgreens said it has begun offering telehealth services in another 20 states under its partnership with connected health provider MDLive. Via an expansion of the Walgreens mobile app, MDLive’s services have become available to users in Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The platform was launched last December through the Walgreens mobile app in California and Michigan. This past June, access was expanded to Colorado, Illinois and Washington. Through 24/7 service, users can consult virtually with MDLive’s network of U.S. board-certified doctors for a range of acute conditions. Physicians also can e-prescribe medications.

“We have seen that telehealth solutions play an important role in helping to improve patient outcomes, and we will continue to work to evolve our offerings to ensure our patients can choose what’s most convenient for them, whether that’s live doctor consultations, digitally chatting with a pharmacist or visiting a Healthcare Clinic,” stated Adam Pellegrini, Walgreens’ divisional vice president of digital health.

The retailer also has launched the Walgreens Connect app, which allows members of its Balance Rewards loyalty program with a Well at Walgreens connected premium-brand blood glucose meter or blood pressure wrist monitor to earn points for daily measurements.

Walgreens said the data is captured and transmitted to the cloud via the 2net Platform and 2net Mobile solutions from Qualcomm Life. Walgreens rewards 20 points per day for taking a blood pressure measurement and 20 points per day for blood glucose measurements.

Earlier this month, Walgreens announced that it became the first merchant to integrate its rewards program with the Apple Pay mobile payment platform. Balance Rewards members can now seamlessly use their account through Apple Pay without having to separately scan a Balance Rewards card or barcode, the drug chain said. Balance Rewards now has more than 85 million active members.

“We’re excited to be the first to provide our customers with increased ease of access to their Balance Rewards account and information when using Apple Pay,” commented Sona Chawla, president of digital and chief marketing officer at Walgreens. “This offering supports our commitment to removing friction and enabling a simple and convenient customer experience.”

Also this month, Walgreens said its Healthcare Clinics will migrate to the Epic electronic health record (EHR) platform, to further enhance care coordination among providers and support the long-term growth plan for its clinic business. The move to the new EHR, called Epic­Care, is set to begin in early 2016.


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