Walgreens makes huge telehealth push

See digital health as an 'omni-channel experience'
By Erin McCann
10:58 AM

The nation's largest drugstore chain is set to expand its telehealth footprint by providing virtual doc visits to 25 states by year's end. 

Walgreens on June 10 announced it was expanding its platform with MDLIVE to extend telehealth visits to patients living in Colorado, Illinois and Washington state. By the end of 2015, the drugstore giant will have expanded telehealth capabilities to 25 states.

See also: [Adam Pellegrini on digital health initiatives at HIMSS15]

According to the American Telemedicine Association, private insurers in 24 states and the District of Columbia are required to cover telehealth services. More than 50 percent of U.S. hospitals have implemented some form of a telemedicine platform.

Walgreens first announced in December it was launching a mobile telehealth application to consumers in California and Michigan.

It's part of Walgreens' initiative to "advance our telehealth strategy and expand our digital footprint," said Adam Pellegrini, divisional vice president of digital health at Walgreens, in a press statement announcing the expansion.

In an interview with Healthcare IT News this April, Pellegrini said at any given time, the pharmacy chain has 20 to 30 digital health projects in the works.
"As we look at digital health, we see it as an omni-channel experience, meaning that it's not just about the digital technology and the neat and cool things around apps," he said. "It's about how all of those things layer on top of our brick and mortar stores."



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