Walgreens: 1M subscribe to prescription text alerts

By: Brian Dolan | Mar 4, 2011        

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Walgreens Refill By ScanAfter just four months of launching “Refill by Scan,” Walgreens have found that users of its smartphone application have embraced the feature which enables them to use the camera on their phone to scan the barcode printed on a prescription label to order a refill. Walgreens said half of all refill orders originating from a mobile device are now from Refill by Scan. The feature has been available to users of Walgreens’ iPhone and Android apps since November 2010.

Walgreens also announced that more than 1 million people have subscribed to its prescription text alert service, which informs customers when a prescription is ready for pickup. That service was launched in March 2010.

“Our customers have enthusiastically adopted our mobile applications and we’re continuing to bring innovative technology to our online and mobile platforms to enhance the customer experience,” Sona Chawla, Walgreens President of E-commerce, stated in the company release. “With refill by scan, prescription text alerts, unique photo features and the ability to shop or browse products all available on a mobile device, we’re adding new levels of choice, control and convenience for our rapidly-growing numbers of mobile customers.”

Walgreens plans to launch a new advertising campaign this week to promote Refill by Scan and its other mobile services.

Scanning barcodes via smartphone cameras have other use cases in mobile health. Last year we profiled a startup called ScanAvert, which offers an app that allows users to scan barcodes on various food items to see whether those foods contain ingredients they are allergic to, contain ingredients that might interact with their drug regimen and more.

For more on Walgreens’ mobile scanning and alerts, read the full press release below:

Smart Phone Users Embrace Walgreens New “Refill by Scan” Technology

More than half of prescription refills through Walgreens mobile applications

already using scan feature

DEERFIELD, Ill., March 3, 2011 – Nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population lives within three miles of a Walgreens (NYSE, NASDAQ: WAG). Now the drugstore chain’s more than 7,600 stores are getting even more convenient with new smart phone enhancements in the hands of many Walgreens customers nationwide. Walgreens newest mobile feature, Refill by Scan, already accounts for more than half of all prescription refills ordered through Walgreens mobile applications – less than four months after becoming available for both iPhone® and Android™ platforms.

Using a smart phone’s camera, Refill by Scan enables users to scan the barcode printed on a prescription label to seamlessly order a refill in seconds. The new, innovative technology was launched on the Walgreens mobile application in 2010 and has been available for both Android™ and iPhone® users since November.

Refill by Scan also gives users the option to change their store pickup location as well as the pickup time and day.

“Our customers have enthusiastically adopted our mobile applications and we’re continuing to bring innovative technology to our online and mobile platforms to enhance the customer experience,” said Sona Chawla, Walgreens President of E-commerce. “With refill by scan, prescription text alerts, unique photo features and the ability to shop or browse products all available on a mobile device, we’re adding new levels of choice, control and convenience for our rapidly-growing numbers of mobile customers.”

Walgreens is highlighting its suite of mobile pharmacy services and the new Refill by Scan technology with a new advertising campaign launched this week.

The Walgreens mobile application has a 4.5-star rating in the iTunes Store and a 4-star rating in the Android™ Market. The application is free and available for download via iTunes and the Android™ Market.

Prescription Text Alert Subscribers Surpass 1 Million

Prescription text alerts, a Walgreens mobile feature which notifies customers via text message when their prescriptions are ready, has surpassed 1 million subscribers. The alerts were introduced in March 2010.

Customers can sign up for prescription text alerts at any Walgreens pharmacy or by visiting www.walgreens.com/textalerts. Prescription text alerts are available through any mobile device that has texting capabilities.

Other features of the Walgreens mobile application include:

Access prescription history

Order photo prints direct from your phone

Find the nearest Walgreens or Take Care Clinic

Browse products and check in-store availability

Shop from your phone

For more information on Walgreens mobile application and services, visit www.walgreens.com/mobile.