Retail Pharmacy Mobile Applications

I’ve talked before about some of the mobile PBM efforts, but what about the retail pharmacies. You should expect that the chains will have different mobile strategies than the grocery stores or the big box retailers. And, it will be interesting to see how the independents might collaborate on a shared platform.

Here’s a few things already out there:
Walmart new shopping application and Walmart’s page on mobile
CVS retail application
Walgreens has a mobile pharmacy app
Target also has a mobile pharmacy application

So what should or could pharmacies offer consumers in terms of mobile applications:
– A refill application is a minimum
– Education or drug information is another basic
– There are certainly some geographic options such as a store locator or clinic locator
– There are options for location based check-in using Foursquare
– Scheduling MTM consultations or vaccinations are a reasonable option
– What about promoting saving thru 90-day retail or generics?
– As retail pharmacies are in the specialty business, there could be opportunities to promote this channel and offer support.
– Telemonitoring is another option (e.g., FaceTime)
– Use of QR code is another part as is augmenting the shopping experience with augmented reality
– Of course, couponing will be part of the solution, but what I’d like is someone who would download my shopping receipts (from multiple companies) and provide me with relevant savings.
– Should it include Rx coupons? Unlike the PBMs, retailers want traffic and if coupons increase adherence then why not.
– There are other options like photos and integration with social networks and tools.

I think one of the key “killer apps” is secure rules based messaging. Imagine using data to identify when you need a vaccination or identifying a potential drug-food issue or having age based triggers. These could be sent directly to the consumer in a secure environment. Of course, we’re only at about 10% adoption and the key question is whether these are the key consumer that everyone wants to attract. Are they the high utilizers? Do they buy other goods?

More to come here. This is a rapidly evolving space.

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