Global pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has launched a new patient-facing mobile app that includes a virtual savings card, a prescription tracker, and educational materials. The app, available in the US on the iOS App Store and Google Play store, is called AZhelps.
“AstraZeneca is committed to providing affordable medicines and programs that help patients get the support they need," Lori Tierney, Vice President of Commercial Operations at AstraZeneca, said in a statement. "AZhelps is a new way for people to help take charge of their health -- absolutely free. It allows patients to easily access information about their medications, better manage their wellness, and access important savings information, all from their smartphone as soon as they need information.”
With the app's medication tracker feature, patients can set medication reminders, see their history to detect trends and see how long they've been keeping up with a treatment regimen, set refill reminders, and order refills from their phone from certain pharmacies.
Like Johnson and Johnson's Care4Today app, AZHelp's medication tracker feature also works with non-AstraZeneca medications. Other features of the app, like the savings card and educational content, are more focused on AstraZeneca brands.
The savings card can be accessed through the AZhelps app or it can be added to Apple Wallet or Android Pay. It allows users to save money on out-of-pocket costs for particular AstraZeneca medications.
Finally, the app contains information about AstraZeneca medications, and a tap-to-call button to put users in touch with AstraZeneca's information center to answer any additional questions. Educational content in the app is sourced from third parties including the New York Times and the Mayo Clinic.
Jenny Streets, senior director of customer experience and innovation at AstraZeneca, told MobiHealthNews in an email that AstraZeneca launched this app because their own market research showed patients were looking for ways to interact with the company via mobile.
"We live in a mobile-first, connected world and managing your health is hard," she said. "AstraZeneca, like many companies, saw its mobile moment occur last year — so we knew more patients were looking for us via their mobile devices and we saw an opportunity to remove some of the friction (or difficulty) from managing your health in the 'on-the-go, I-need-savings, I-need-a-reminder, I-can’t-remember' health moments that all patients live with. So we created a mobile-first program that would provide savings, tools and resources through an app, SMS and mobile sites."
Streets added that this is merely a first step for AstraZeneca in the app space.
"The goal is to be as useful for patients as possible — which includes evolving the current approach but also continuing to test and learn in emerging areas as well," she said. "We really see this as a leaping off point as we try to optimally support our patients in this mobile world."