Previously, iMedicalApps reviewed the different features available in mobile pharmacy apps from the major retailers in the US.
Many of the apps served as a portal to refill medications, whether through manual input, or camera scanning based on the released API from Walgreens.
Some had bonus features, such as Walgreen’s Pill Reminder add-on that was bought from RxmindMe. Since that time, there have been different designs shifts in the apps, but the biggest change has been by CVS.
The CVS app has had a major design refresh, built differently for both the iPad and iPhone. No longer serving as just a medication refill portal, the apps have incorporated different features tailored to the retail environment.
On the large screen, the user is presented with a mock version of a CVS floorplan. One interesting facet of the layout chosen is the fact it is trying to emulate the current standard of most CVS pharmacies, introducing both customers and patients to a familiar environment. These include areas such as a Minute Clinic, Photo, and overall consumer shopping.
The version found on the iPhone is more compact than available on the iPad and does not display a virtual CVS. Rather, menus are present to select different available options found similar to the iPad.
While all functions are similar, the iPhone app offers several other features that do not seem to have been incorporated into the iPad app. This includes a drug interaction checker and pill identifier feature. The Drug Interaction Checker allows the user to scan non-prescription medications barcodes, import their prescriptions from their CVS account, or manually enter the medications.
Review of the app and further investigation cannot determine what data source the app is using for its information, though it may be based on the company’s own information sources. Overall, this is the only pharmacy app at the current time that offers their patients the ability to perform such features via their app.
Lastly, the pill identifier works similarly to other manually imported pill descriptions to give the user a variety of options as to what the unknown drug is. Unfortunately, it’s not as robust as other services, but is a start.
- The mobile app serves as a great means for patients to utilize pharmacy related services, especially if they use CVS
- App is easy to navigate on both the iPad and iPhone
- Integration of a drug interaction checker and pill identifier is novel and gives patients more options
- While the iPad app may look better, it does not offer the same features as those on the iPhone
- The pill identifier can use improvement, such as offering more colors to be chosen. Integration with a smart pill identifier may be the next step for pharmacies to pursue for the public.
- Great app for patients that use CVS to get their prescriptions, but features can be used by other patients as well
- Features should be integrated into other mobile pharmacy apps and expanded upon
- Future directions should include other mobile health functions and incorporate communication with digital pharmacists
Rating (1-5 Stars): 4.25
User Interface: 5/5 – Very easy to use and navigate, with useful features that are accessible and easy to learn.
Multimedia usage: 3/5 – The app looks good and integrates appropriate images where applicable
Price: 5/5 – Free
Real world applicability: 4/5 – This app will be a benefit for any patient, but particularly those that use CVS. Several features could be improved upon such as the drug identifier component, and the apps could be streamlined to offer similar features.
Devices Used: iPhone 4, iPad Mini 2
App Version Reviewed: CVS Ver. 1.20 (iPhone), CVS Ver. 1.3 (iPad)
Date of Review: March 6, 2014
This post does not establish, nor is it intended to establish, a patient physician relationship with anyone. It does not substitute for professional advice, and does not substitute for an in-person evaluation with your health care provider. It does not provide the definitive statement on the subject addressed. Before using these apps please consult with your own physician or health care provider as to the apps validity and accuracy as this post is not intended to affirm the validity or accuracy of the apps in question. The app(s) mentioned in this post should not be used without discussing the app first with your health care provider.