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At CES Walgreens Chief Medical Officer Discusses Their Technologies for Healthcare

Posted Jan 08 2011 5:13pm

This is interesting on how healthcare technologies are following us everywhere, image even to CES, as much of the new technology is consumer medical devices.  Part of the convention included a Digital Health Summit meeting and the press release originated from that area.  Walgreens had enabled quite a few mobile software programs as have other pharmacies and pharmacy benefit managers, not to mention almost every insurance company pitching theirs as well.  You can have your information sent to your personal healthcare record too.

At their retail clinics, called “Take Care” which I have written about here a few image times, the CMO speaks of their use of medical records and in essence, the retail clinics are up on this in a better than average area I say.  Strategic partners in healthcare is getting interesting too with connecting the “data dots’ and looking at where and who has access to medical information as the medication data bases used do not fall under the privacy areas of HIPAA.  United Healthcare actually provides additional money for pharmacists who enroll you into one of their wellness programs, so again interesting to see the data/financial ties being established today.  I report these items as educational efforts to try and keep everyone also up to date on where profits lie in healthcare as well just so consumers are aware of how their data leads to both better care and sometime bigger profits.  I don’t know if the RXAdvisor mentioned in the press release below is covered or not in the pay for performance for the pharmacists. 

UnitedHealthCare To Use Data Mining Algorithms On Claim Data To Look For Those At “Risk” of Developing Diabetes – Walgreens and the YMCA Benefit With Pay for Performance Dollars to Promote and Supply The Tools

Here’s an example of one company who makes money selling prescription data, a subsidiary of United.  You can read more about Ingenix MedPoint here.There’s also a flash presentation where you can view the process here.

image

“By increasing understanding of potential disease conditions and relative risk, MedPoint enables underwriters to more accurately project future claims costs on a case-by-case basis.”

Anyway, if you attended CES this year, United Healthcare as listed as a new platinum sponsor.  Through one of the new subsidiary purchases this year they have bought a company in China that is working to promote more Chinese drugs and devices both to the US and globally.  It’s down the subsidiary list daily chain about 3 levels so it’s important today to be aware of how subsidiaries work as in today’s world they all put money down the the corporate bottom line.  You can read more information at the link below.  Data systems and the extreme business intelligence being used today for analytics is on fire as there’s big money to be made there with both predictive financial markets as well as predictive human behavioral analysis systems and all are invested there heavily.  BD

Press Release:

DEERFIELD, Ill.--( BUSINESS WIRE )--The range of ways Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (NASDAQ: WAG) is leveraging technology to make personal health management easier for patients was highlighted today by the company’s chief medical officer, Cheryl Pegus, MD, MPH, moderator of the opening panel on the future of digital health at the Consumer Electronics Show’s (CES) Digital Health Summit. Pegus discussed the evolution of digital health at Walgreens and how the company’s current suite of solutions is driving improved access, outcomes and cost -effective care for both acute and chronic conditions. The Digital Health Summit spotlights the growing market of consumer-based health and wellness innovations, and was attended by thought-leaders from both the health care and technology sectors.

“Leveraging our unmatched national footprint and 70,000 affiliated health care providers to provide access to care and help address the challenge of chronic care management are two key areas of strategic focus for Walgreens”

Pegus discussed how Walgreens has embraced the use of mobile technology platforms as a means of improving delivery of care to patients. The company now offers mobile applications for iPhone®, AndroidTM, and Blackberry®,1 devices, featuring text alerts for more than 1 million subscribers, and a function that allows patients to simply scan the barcode of their prescription to send in refills. In addition to these mobile applications, patients are also able to access Walgreens.com on the go for pharmacy and retail purchasing as well as health risk assessments and prescription-related information.

“Access to the right care, at the right time, is enabled for our consumers and patients by integrating mobile technology into the services we offer patients to help them stay well,” Pegus said.

Pegus also highlighted how Walgreens and Take Care Clinics are utilizing technology to deliver integrated, quality care and simplify and improve the patient experience. For example, at all of the more than 350 Take Care Clinics located at select Walgreens, patients “sign in” using electronic kiosks which help them understand their estimated wait time and avoid manually filling out paperwork. Data inputted into the kiosk prompts the creation of an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) which allows providers across the country to more quickly and comprehensively understand a patient’s history. The Walgreens pharmacists and Take Care providers use an eCommunication program to coordinate care with a patient’s pharmacy provider and can quickly generate reports to share with a patient’s primary care provider to facilitate coordinated care.

Walgreens use of digital health to enhance the management of chronic conditions was also highlighted. Through E-prescribing, prescriptions are routed directly to a patient’s pharmacy, improving patient safety and convenience by allowing for a real-time cross-check for any drug interactions. A Walgreens tool, RxAdvisor, facilitates regular pharmacist consultations with patients about their medication regimen online or face-to-face. Another Walgreens offering, MedMonitor® Complete, provides prescription and care management with face-to-face and telephonic support utilizing a nationwide network of more than 10,000 pharmacies.

“Leveraging our unmatched national footprint and 70,000 affiliated health care providers to provide access to care and help address the challenge of chronic care management are two key areas of strategic focus for Walgreens,” Pegus said. “By using technology to improve the patient experience and coordination of care, we can continue to improve measurable outcomes, adherence and quality, while also providing cost-effective care.”

About Walgreens

Walgreens ( www.walgreens.com ) is the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2010 sales of $67 billion. The company operates 7,650 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Each day, Walgreens provides nearly 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with pharmacy benefit solutions and respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.

Statements regarding Walgreens in this release that are not historical are forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, assumptions and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, those described in Item 1A (Risk Factors) of Walgreens most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K which is incorporated herein by reference and in other documents that Walgreens files or furnishes with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those indicated or anticipated by such forward-looking statements. Accordingly, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Except to the extent required by law, Walgreens undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statement after the distribution of this release, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions or otherwise.

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