Walgreens adds MDLive telemedicine in three more states

By Jonah Comstock
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MDLiveWalgreens, which partnered with MDLive to offer telemedicine services in two states last December, has added three more states to its rollout and announced that MDLive video visits will now be available on desktop computers and tablets, in addition to smartphones.

Colorado, Washington, and Illinois will join California and Michigan on the list of states where Walgreens offers virtual doctor visits through its customer app. The company plans to expand the offering to 25 states by the end of 2015.

“As we continue to advance our telehealth strategy and expand our digital footprint, we’re pleased to help offer unparalleled access to medical professionals for more of our customers,” Adam Pellegrini, Walgreens divisional vice president of digital health, said in a statement. “Our society truly values anytime, anywhere convenience. And with a growing need for access to affordable health care services, we believe telehealth solutions can play an important role in helping to improve patient outcomes and continues our mission to provide a seamless, omni-channel digital health experience.”

Walgreens customers will be able to access the video visits from inside the Walgreens mobile app on either Android or iOS devices. Any time of day, a board-certified physician will be available to consult on a range of acute conditions, and even to prescribe medications, for $49.

Yesterday, Walgreens also announced the launch of its new Apple Watch app and a forthcoming Apple Pay integration for the company's Balance Rewards program. The Apple Watch app will help remind users to take their pills and also to refill their prescriptions when they run out. The app connects with the user’s Pill Reminders inside the Walgreens iPhone app, and Apple’s “actionable alerts” allow the user to mark a medication as taken or skipped on the watch, as well as view which medications might have been missed or should be taken next. Refill Reminders predict when a medication might be running low and lets users easily initiate a refill.

The Apple Pay integration, meanwhile, will allow Walgreens customers who pay with Apple Pay to download a digital card that will automatically log their Walgreens purchases for the rewards program.