TECHNOLOGY

Rite Aid brings virtual health care in-store

BY Dan Berthiaume

Rite Aid is giving its in-store healthcare services a high-tech boost.

The drug store chain is partnering with telehealth company InTouch Health to offer a virtual service that connects customers to clinicians at Rite Aid’s in-store RediClinic health clinics. The service will be accessible at kiosks that leverage the InTouch’s virtual care software platform, Solo by InTouch. Patients will be able to speak with RediClinic clinicians directly via a secure, two-way high-definition audio/video connection.

The new “RediClinic Express” kiosks delivers a virtual health assessment with integrated medical devices and point-of-care testing. Administered with assistance from trained medical assistants, RediClinic Express exams utilize the same diagnostic equipment used during face-to-face examinations, such as an otoscope, dermascope, and stethoscope. Customers are able to see what the clinician is viewing, utilizing diagnostic equipment and point-of-care testing.

Rite Aid launched its first RediClinic Express kiosks in Drexel Hill and West Chester, Pennsylvania, and will launch three additional locations in Langhorne, Huntingdon Valley and Narberth, Pennsylvania. The virtual care will initially cover medical care for illnesses including flu, strep, urinary complaints and preventive and wellness visits, such as travel healthy consultations for customers 18 months and older.

Customers will have the ability to schedule appointments online, utilize a self-service touchscreen for check-in, or speak with the kiosk’s clinical assistant upon arrival for an appointment. Following check-in, patients are escorted to the private kiosk where their vital signs are taken by the clinical assistant and they are asked to fill out a medical questionnaire. Once those steps are completed, the patient is matched with a clinician who will review their intake form and medical history from their remote location and then initiate the virtual care visit.

During the virtual care visit, the clinician may diagnose the patient and determine the appropriate course of treatment following clinical care guidelines. If patients require a prescription or follow-up care, the clinician will submit the prescription to the patient’s pharmacy of choice and, if needed, recommend that the patient visit an appropriate healthcare provider.

“Virtual care is another opportunity for Rite Aid to offer patients the convenience of faster service and value-based healthcare,” said Jocelyn Konrad, executive VP, pharmacy and retail operations, Rite Aid. “We are continually looking for ways to serve our patients differently by utilizing technology and are excited to launch virtual care via our initial RediClinic Express kiosks and look forward to improving healthcare outcomes of our customers in those communities.”

RediClinic currently operates 25 clinics inside Rite Aid stores in the greater Philadelphia and New Jersey areas and 36 clinics inside H-E-B grocery stores in Houston, Austin and San Antonio, Texas. RediClinic is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rite Aid Corp.

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