Walgreens expands telehealth to three states, tablet and desktop

Walgreens (NASDAQ:WAG) announced its telehealth service is expanding to three new states and will be moving beyond just smarthphones.

The pharmacy chain first launched the program in December of last year. Through a partnership with MDLIVE, Walgreens website users are able to set up virtual consultations with MDLIVE physicians and U.S. board-certified doctors 24/7 via the Walgreens app on iOS and Android. The service was initially available only in California and Michigan, but will now be offered in Colorado, Illinois and Washington as well.

"Our society truly values anytime, anywhere convenience," said Adam Pellegrini, Walgreens divisional VP of digital health, in a statement. "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, omnichannel digital health experience."

The company plans to continue rolling the service out across the country, with plans to make it available in 25 states by the end of the year.

In keeping with Pellegrini's desire to build out omnichannel health options at Walgreens, the company also announced the MDLIVE program will move beyond the smartphone app to allow access both on the desktop site and on tablets.

Walgreens' telehealth experiment is reportedly flourishing at its test locations as the new option helps patients who might not be able to meet up with a physician in person get the attention they need. MDLIVE doctors are able to prescribe medications digitally and the virtual sessions cost $49.

It's been a busy year for the pharmacy retailer, as Walgreens completed its merger with Alliance Boots and has continued to build out its popular app. Walgreens currently ranks in the top five retail apps available on iOS according to App Annie, largely due to innovative features like the telehealth platform and its scan to refill capability.

For more:
-See this Walgreens press release

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