News Feature | December 18, 2014

Walgreens To Provide Telehealth Options

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

The Trusted Advisor

Walgreens to offer virtual doctor visits via mobile app.

Walgreens and MDLive have teamed up to introduce a new telehealth option that will allow Walgreens website users 24/7 access to board-certified physicians via its mobile app, according to a press release. The service will be available initially in Michigan and California, and then will be rolled out to additional markets over time.

The unique platform is available in both iOS and Android version of the Walgreens mobile app, and will allow users to consult with doctors on a range of acute conditions. MDLive’s “virtual visit” or consultation with a doctor costs $49, though that could be less depending on the customer’s health insurance coverage.

“Offering mobile and virtual access to board-certified doctors is a natural extension of the robust range of health services that Walgreens already offers,” said Dr. Harry Leider, chief medical officer, Walgreens, in the press release. “We’re delighted to work with MDLIVE to provide our patients with a leading telehealth solution that will allow them to conveniently address their health conditions and needs with a medical professional.”

The new feature complements the Pharmacy Chat feature, launched by Walgreens last year, which allows users to chat live with members of the pharmacy staff 24/7 as part of its telehealth platform. The press release asserts the MDLive addition “signifies an evolution and expansion of the platform by adding virtual doctor visits and ultimately, the program allows for adaptation based on varying customer needs and provides increased access to care.”

The move strengthens the aims of both Walgreens and MDLive to bring convenient and affordable quality healthcare to consumers, anytime, anywhere.

“We are going to be getting into the telemedicine space where you consult a board certified physician from your computer, your tablet or your phone,” Walgreens chief medical officer, Dr. Harry Leider, said in an interview at the 2014 Forbes Healthcare Summit .“We are extending this idea of convenience into the digital space.”