News Feature | October 29, 2014

Walgreens Balance Rewards App Challenge Heats Up

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Some Apps Better Than Others At Promoting Well-Being

Henry Ford Health System Innovations supports Walgreens new competition to incentivize health.

Walgreens has launched its new Balance Rewards App Challenge with the support of the Henry Ford Health Systems Innovations. The challenge’s aim is to find new mobile applications that incentivize healthy behavior and improve disease management.

Announcement of the challenge was made in conjunction with the naming of the winners of the Henry Ford innovation Institute Davidson Digital Health Challenge.

With the emergence of digital health technology, including wearables and patient engagement applications, new possibilities are emerging to provide patients with easier, safer, and less expensive options to manage their chronic conditions and stay healthy.

According to a press release, the Walgreens Balance Rewards App Challenge aims to drive health behavior through incentives, making it easier and more affordable for patients to manage their conditions, and for doctors and their preferred Walgreens pharmacy to better engage in a patient’s overall health and recovery.

The purpose of the Balance Rewards App Challenge is to encourage the integration of Walgreens’ Balance Rewards application program interface (API) and allow users to earn Balance Rewards points for making healthy lifestyle choices. These rewards can be redeemed at participating Walgreens for merchandise, both in-store and online.

“We can no longer look at healthcare as something that is just conducted in a hospital setting,” says Mark Coticchia, VP and Chief Innovation Officer of Henry Ford Health System. “To better manage the overall health of our patients, we need to start looking at ways we can engage patients every day and in the places they visit most often.

“This is why it is so exciting to be partnered with Walgreens to attract ideas in ways that, together, we can revolutionize patient engagement.”

Contest details and submission guidelines are available on the Balance Rewards App Challenge page through November 28. Winners will be announced during the Walgreens session at the upcoming mHealth Summit 2014 in Washington D.C., December 7-11.