The Walgreens app brings many of the services of a full pharmacy to the convenience of your mobile device. Users can refill or transfer prescriptions, live chat with a pharmacy tech, review the weekly sales ad and create a shopping list, and order photos directly from a phone or tablet.
Patients can order prescription refills directly from the app by setting up a pharmacy account. For current Walgreens customers, ownership of a pharmacy account is verified by answering security questions regarding previous addresses or vehicles. The Walgreens app provides a comprehensive list of the way in which patient health information (PHI) may be used.
Users may refill their prescription by accessing medications in their account profile, by prescription number, or by scanning their prescription label. A preferred pharmacy is identified by GPS location, city, or zip code. Once the patient chooses a pharmacy, a map is provided with a link to directions via either Apple or Google Maps.
The app also contains a pill reminder which the patient may use to enable prescription refill reminders or daily dosing. Notifications can be set, then the user can also enable a feature to note when they take the pill. This information can be protected with a passcode set by the user. The feature also allows export of the data in order to share the medication list with the patient’s prescriber.
Additional health services features include prescription status and history, as well as the ability to submit an insurance card through the app. These features are only enabled once the patient’s account has been verified. Account verification takes several days. Some useful components of the app that do not require an account include Live Doctor Consultation and Pharmacy Chat. The doctor consult costs $49 per visit and promises a live video call with an average 12-minute wait to be seen. Walgreens has partnered with MDLive to provide this service nationally for non-emergency visits such as acne, allergies, urinary problems, respiratory problems, etc. This is not covered by insurance in most cases, though can be charged under an FSA or HSA plan. Prescriptions may be sent to the patients’ pharmacy of choice. No narcotics will be prescribed. Patients who need to see a provider face-to-face can schedule a Walgreens healthcare clinic appointment via the app if clinics are available in the geographic area.
Pharmacy Chat is a free feature that connects the user with a live pharmacy professional. This is text-based rather than a video call. Patients may ask general medication questions and get drug pricing information. Attempts to connect with the pharmacy professional resulted in an immediate connection 2 out of 3 times, though the third time, the connection never seemed to go through. The two successful connections included conversations with a pharmacy technician. I am not certain about laws in all states regarding what medication questions a pharmacy tech can answer vs what would need to be answered by a pharmacist. There are no clear guidelines in the app as to when the patient’s question might be referred to another provider.
The app also offers access to retail services such as keeping track of the Walgreens rewards card, clipping coupons from the weekly ad, and shopping for various items which can be shipped to the user or found at a local Walgreens store.
iPhone users can connect Apple Health to the Walgreens app and receive extra rewards points for setting and meeting health-related goals like exercise and blood pressure. This feature is powered by WebMD. It’s probably great for frequent Walgreens shoppers who utilize the rewards points, but felt a bit too invasive for me.
One really neat feature of the app that might bring more people into Walgreens is the Photo section. Users can order prints, cards, posters, etc, of photos on their mobile device. The app will also access photos stored in Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox or Flickr. Photos can be sent to the store location of the user’s choice and, depending on what’s ordered, may be picked up in as little as an hour.
- Prescription refill management
- Pharmacy chat for drug pricing
- Photo orders
- Telemedicine on a tiny screen
- Length of time for account verification prevents use of some features
- Connecting health info for rewards points is more than I’d want to share with a third party
Overall, the Walgreens app is very useful, particularly for patients who are routine pharmacy customers and retail shoppers. It’s great for managing prescription refills and could be an excellent tool for providers to be able to see a complete medication list for their patients. The retail features are great for users who’d like to do some shopping as well. I may keep the app just for the photo services alone!
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Easy to navigate and use the variety of features available.
- Multimedia Usage
Many multimedia features from live video calls to chats with live techs to scanning prescription labels for reorder.
Quite a lot of functionality in a free app.
- Real World Applicability
More so for patients, though the ability to get a complete med list to a prescriber is huge!
- Device Used For Review
iPhone 6s and iPad Air 2
- Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad