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09/22/2021

Exclusive Q&A: Walgreens digitally streamlines healthcare access

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Dan Berthiaume profile picture
Giovanni Monti
Giovanni Monti, senior VP, healthcare services, Walgreens Boots Alliance

Walgreens Boots Alliance is digitalizing a variety of healthcare services to the mutual benefit of the retailer and its customers.

Chain Store Age recently had a conversation with Giovanni Monti, senior VP, healthcare services, Walgreens Boots Alliance, about his company’s varied digital healthcare activities, as well as its brick-and-mortar partnership with VillageMD.

What benefits do Walgreens and Boots receive from their digital health platforms?
Our digital health platforms are a valuable way for us to interact with consumers and help them connect with the healthcare services they need when and how they need them. We want to provide consumers the omnichannel experience they want and help them be well and live happier, healthier lives.

Our digital platforms assist us with achieving those goals. Whether by helping consumers connect with third-party providers via Walgreens Find Care, offering a wide range of services and content through Boots Health Hub or providing access to online health consultations through Boots Online Doctor, our digital platforms enable us to make even more healthcare services accessible in new ways beyond pharmacy. Our digital health platforms can almost become a natural complement to, and an extension of, our stores and pharmacies.

What benefits do consumers receive from the platforms?
With Walgreens Find Care, which is available on Walgreens.com and the Walgreens app, consumers have an easy-to-use tool that helps them connect to healthcare providers, both in-person and virtually, to address health and well-being needs, such as acute care, preventive care, diagnostic tests and more.

As patients needed information, telehealth, then COVID-19 tests and ultimately vaccinations during the pandemic, we thought it was important to expand our Walgreens Find Care integrated healthcare and pharmacy offerings to meet that demand. With recent additions and expanded collaborations with providers earlier this year, consumers can now access more than 50 national and local providers through the platform, offering more than 70 services and treatment for more than 120 conditions.  

In the U.K., Boots Health Hub brings the company’s healthcare services and a growing number of partners together on a single site, so they are more visible and easier to find. As part of Boots Health Hub, we also offer Boots Online Doctor, which makes it more convenient for individuals to access healthcare advice and prescription-only medicine without having to leave home, through online consultations that can take as little as five minutes to complete*.

How is Walgreens enabling consumers to access and store vaccination records on their phones?
One of our strategic priorities is to accelerate digitalization. Currently, a patient can access their vaccine records via the website or mobile app. We plan to offer downloadable digital versions of these records in the near future, which can then be shared with third parties, including smartphone apps. 

How do consumers benefit from the Walgreens/Village Medical partnership?
Village Medical at Walgreens offers cost-effective and comprehensive primary care in person on a large scale, alongside Walgreens pharmacy services, enabling patients to benefit from improved health outcomes and lowered cost of care.

Through our collaboration with VillageMD, we also help remove barriers to access quality healthcare services. Village Medical primary care physicians and Walgreens pharmacists work together to provide coordinated care for chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure, as well as everyday illnesses and injuries. Patients can benefit from a seamless experience that can save them time and money and help them take medication as prescribed by their primary care providers.

[Read more: Walgreens launches huge in-store health care move with VillageMD]

* Consultations consist of an online questionnaire filled out by the patient that is reviewed by a clinician to assess suitability for prescription-only medicine. Charges for Online Doctor services apply.