CVS expands digital tools

CVS (NYSE:CVS) has added a new suite of digital offerings to help pharmacy customers better manage medications and interact more easily with the store's pharmacy.

The CVS mobile app now lets users set reminders on any mobile device, including a smart watch, to take medication. Family members can register to receive notifications if a loved one fails to take their prescribed medication.

New scanning capabilities let shoppers scan insurance cards, something that saves time for both consumers and pharmacists. CVS estimates the tool will free up thousands of hours for pharmacists, allowing them more time to interact with customers.

Shoppers can now scan prescriptions to order a refill from their mobile devices, a feature in place at rival Walgreens, and so popular that Walgreens estimates that a refill scan occurs every second.

App users will also receive push messages, thanks to a newly installed beacon network in CVS stores.

Several of the new tools were developed in the CVS Health Digital Innovation Lab, which opened its doors in mid-2015.

"Our digital innovation model is the synthesis of strategic partnership and rapid experimentation, and this new suite of tools—some of the first to emerge from our digital innovation lab—shows how effective our approach can be," said Brian Tilzer, senior VP and chief digital officer for CVS Health. "By addressing real problems, including medication adherence, through digital tools that are designed to make tasks easier and more convenient, we're supporting our overall company strategy—to help people live healthier lives."

Mobile applications and other digital tools are proving valuable tools for all retailers, but drugstores may benefit the most. While beacons are being tested to push deals at grocery stores, pharmacies are using digital tools to offer benefits of a much different sort—benefits that stand to improve health care while cementing customer loyalty.

In October, CVS announced two new partnerships with startup accelerator MassChallenge and digital health venture fund Rock Health to expand its connected health solutions.

For more:
-See this CVS press release

Related stories:
CVS expands partnerships in digital health solutions
CVS Health leads two major acquisitions in latest quarter
CVS brings doctor-like IBM computers to 7,800 stores
CVS opens digital innovation lab
CVS buys Target's pharmacies, clinics for $2B

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