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Walgreens helps users manage their health via mobile app updates

The iPhone pill reminder feature

Walgreens is letting consumers stay up-to-date on their health needs with an updated iPhone and Android application.

Walgreens has equipped its app with a pill reminder function that sends push notifications to remind consumers when to take their prescriptions. App users can also now transfer prescriptions to a Walgreens pharmacy and order pictures via their handsets.

“Increasingly, people are using mobile as a tool to help manage their health,” said James Cohn, spokesman for Walgreens, Deerfield, IL.

“By introducing new and innovative features we are providing more tools through mobile to help people better manage their health, and in some cases also achieving better medication adherence,” he said.

“Mobile is a channel through which these features can be delivered faster, easier and more convenient.”

Mobile fill
The pill reminder feature has been rolled out in the Walgreens iPhone app and is featured on the main screen of the app.

Users can choose to be sent mobile reminders to take their medicine either daily, hourly, weekly, monthly or by a specific date. Consumers can link their Walgreens account to the reminder feature to show a list of their prescriptions.

The app then sends a push notification when it is time for users to take their medicine.

Walgreens has also added a feature to both its Android and iPhone app to let users send their prescriptions from one Walgreens location to another. To make a transfer, users snap a picture of their prescription and can select a location to send it to.

“The app provides real-time convenience with easy-to-use tools and technology that can help patients achieve better medication adherence, which in many cases can be key to improving overall health – that is the most important thing,” Mr. Cohn said.

Android and iPhone users can now also place photo orders directly from the app. Users can either select pictures from their photo albums or use their device’s camera to take a picture.

The app uses the device’s GPS to find nearby locations to pick-up their photo orders. Consumers can view when their photos will be ready and fill out a quick form with their contact information to place a order.

Quick convenience
Walgreens claims that mobile accounts for 40 percent of the company’s online prescription refills, which shows how consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices to make everyday transactions, such as prescriptions. The company also says that text alerts are used by more than two million consumers.

In addition to its mobile prescriptions, Walgreens has also been working to build its mocial strategy.

Walgreens is currently running a foursquare promotion that rewards users who check-in to locations with mobile coupons (see story).

Additionally, Walgreens is working with location-based service LocalResponse to power Twitter coupons via check-ins.

The ultimate goal behind Walgreen’s mobile strategy is to improve consumer convenience and by giving users tools that let them choose how to fill prescriptions, it gives users an incentive to use their handsets.

“Mobile is an integral part of our broader multichannel strategy, and one of the ways we are extending the convenience of Walgreens pharmacy,” Mr. Cohn said.

“Our pharmacy features are the most popular within our mobile applications, so we know people value these resources and that they are using them to help manage their prescription needs, which can in turn help improve overall health,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York