CVS to open health innovation lab

CVS Health (NYSE:CVS), operator of the second-largest drugstore chain in the United States, will be opening a technology development center in Boston this winter.

CVS Chief Digital Officer Brian Tilzer told BetaBoston that the Innovation Lab will employ about 100 staff, some moved over from the headquarters in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, and other new hires.

"We may not hire all 100 next year, but we're going to hire a lot," Tilzer told BostonBeta. "The lab's focus will be on "building customer-centric experiences in health care."

Tilzer reported that CVS has tripled its investment in digital and multichannel e-commerce since he joined the company last year. Some new programs include creating apps, testing video conferencing with docs in Minute Clinics, and communicating about prescriptions via text messages.

Last October, the drugstore chain began releasing digital, tailored versions of the weekly print circulars and CVS wants to add more features and technologies that will personalize them even more. With My Weekly Ad, the company is seeing redemption rates that are seven to 10 times the rate of non-personalized offers.

The idea is to create a seamless experience for customers whether it be via Web, phone or in-store. In fact, Tilzer said the next step will be to get all of the offers that are printed onto CVS receipts moved onto mobile platforms.

The new 15,000 sq. ft. office will be located at 116 Huntington Avenue, centrally located between the medical community in Longwood and the tech community in Cambridge.

Tilzer, formerly Staples' head of e-commerce, said he'll spend a lot of time at the new office. One goal is to connect with startups that are developing new health care related products and services.

Also in development are lab stores in Boston, New York and Menlo Park, California, to explore new technologies with outside partners. All three locations will open next year.

CVS recently changed its name to CVS Health to reflect its growing commitment to health.

For more:
-See this BetaBoston article

Related stories:
Walgreens to remain in US
CVS to acquire Navarro, largest drugstore in Hispanic market
CVS furthers healthy focus with new Fit Choices
Walgreens launches 'Way to Well' tour
ShopRite to open first in-hospital pharmacy

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