Retail pharmacy chain Walgreens added two new features to its mobile health app: medication reminders and prescription transfers via barcode scans. Without citing specific numbers — other than that its mobile user base was in the millions — Walgreens said adoption of its mobile apps grew 500 percent last year.
One of the app’s new feature, called Pill Reminder, aims to help Walgreens iPhone mobile app users track their medication schedules and receive alerts. The alerts can be scheduled nine different ways, including daily, hourly, weekly and more customizable ways. According to Walgreens: “Reminders can be set up simply by scanning a prescription barcode and selecting alert preferences. Users can also add multiple prescriptions, vitamins and other supplements to a single reminder notification.”
The other new feature for the mobile app is called Transfer by Scan. This one makes it easier for Walgreens mobile app users on iPhone and Android to transfer a prescription from another pharmacy to Walgreens in just two steps: “Patients can complete transfers simply by taking a picture of their prescription bottle and providing their name, date of birth and phone number, then sending to Walgreens with one quick click.”
In late 2010 Walgreens launched its refill by scan mobile app feature, which enabled users to refill their prescriptions via their smartphones by scanning their medication bottle’s barcode with their smartphone camera. By March 2011 Walgreens said the scanning feature had already become the dominate way that Walgreens mobile app users refilled their prescriptions. Last October Walgreens enabled text message-powered prescription refills. (Sort of backwards isn’t it — scanning barcodes first then almost a year later, SMS?)
Walgreens began offering its Prescription Ready Text Alerts service, which notifies customers when a prescription order is ready for pickup, in March 2010. It counted 1 million users a year later. By March 2011 it counted more than 2 million users.
“Mobile is an important channel for us and brings great opportunities for technology innovation and providing pharmacy features to millions of our mobile customers,” Sona Chawla, Walgreens president of E-commerce, stated in a press release. “We’ve extended the convenience of Walgreens pharmacy through a number of intuitive, easy-to-use tools that can be very effective in helping patients better manage and improve their overall health.”
More in the press release below: Keep reading>>