Smartphone reminds patients to take pills

March 16, 2012 at 4:58 PM
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DEERFIELD, Ill., March 16 (UPI) -- Officials of the U.S. drugstore chain Walgreens said they are providing its customers cellphone features to help them keep track of the their medications.

Sona Chawla, Walgreens president of e-commerce, said the "drugstore in the palm of your hand," provides a pill reminder that allows Walgreens iPhone mobile app users to track medication schedules and receive alerts -- daily, hourly, weekly or other customizable selections.

Transfer by Scan enables Walgreens mobile app users on iPhone and Android to transfer a prescription from another pharmacy to Walgreens in two steps. Patients can complete transfers by taking a picture of their prescription bottle and providing their name, date of birth and phone number to Walgreens, Chawla said.

Refill by Scan allows patients to order refills simply by scanning a prescription bar code with their smartphone. This generates more than 40 percent of all Walgreens online refills and accounts for more transactions than any other feature within the application, Chawla said.

Standard data and messaging rates apply with use and download of all applications, Chawla added.

Non-adherence to medications -- patients who forget to refill, or forget to take their medication -- can result in health complications that cost the U.S. healthcare system more than $290 billion each year, a report by the U.S. surgeon general said last year.

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