Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Walgreens brings telemedicine to New York drugstores

Steve Rogerson
January 3, 2018

Through self-service kiosks at select Duane Reade pharmacies in New York, Walgreens is bringing access to New York-Presbyterian’s telemedicine services as part of its NYP OnDemand suite of digital health services.
“We are delighted to work with Walgreens to bring New York-Presbyterian’s world-class care right to your neighbourhood drugstore with this exciting new platform,” said Steven Corwin, president and CEO of New York-Presbyterian. “Patients can expect to receive focused, one-on-one care from leading physicians, where and when they need it. We believe telemedicine has a critical role to play in expanding access to high-quality care, and we are proud to be at the forefront of digital healthcare delivery.”
The first New York-Presbyterian NYP OnDemand kiosk is available at the Duane Reade shop at 40 Wall Street in Manhattan, with additional locations expected to open in 2018. These kiosks, located in private, secure rooms inside the stores, offer instant examination, diagnosis and treatment of non-life threatening illnesses and injuries through NYP OnDemand Urgent Care.
With the touch of a button, patients can reach board-certified Weill Cornell Medicine emergency medicine physicians, who provide exams through a high-definition videoconference connection. At the end of the examination, if the physician writes a prescription, it can be instantly sent to the patient’s preferred pharmacy. Paediatric emergency medicine physicians will also be available to provide care during more limited hours. Physicians from Columbia Doctors are expected to participate in early 2018.
“These kiosks provide real-time care for our patients, enabling them to consult Weill Cornell Medicine physicians privately through the convenience of their local drugstores,” said Augustine Choi, the Stephen & Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine. “We are proud to work with New York-Presbyterian and Walgreens to extend the reach of our doctors beyond their offices, making healthcare accessible to patients across the city.”
In addition to the in-store kiosks, Walgreens customers in the New York area using the Walgreens web site can access NYP OnDemand Urgent Care to video chat with board-certified emergency medicine doctors.
“This technology gives us another way to bring Columbia physicians to the neighbourhoods where our patients live and work,” said Lee Goldman, chief executive of Columbia University Irving Medical Center. “Improving access to doctors is a fundamental way to improve our patients’ health and well-being.”
The kiosk experience is further enhanced with medical devices to provide key information to the physician during the virtual visit. These include a forehead thermometer that measures temperature with a gentle swipe of the forehead, a blood pressure cuff to measure blood pressure and a pulse oximeter that measures the amount of oxygen in the body. A dermascope allows the provider to see a high-resolution view of skin conditions.
“We believe that telemedicine can play a critical role in connecting patients with providers,” said Greg Orr, divisional vice president of digital health for Walgreens. “We can now help to bring awareness of services that are offered locally by trusted providers such as New York-Presbyterian. We are pleased that New York-Presbyterian will be the first local healthcare provider to collaborate with us on our evolving telehealth and digital strategy.”
Visit times are expected to take about ten to twenty minutes but will vary depending on the patient’s individual needs. The urgent care service is designed to care for non-life threatening conditions, illnesses and injuries such as sore throat, allergies, rash, pink eye, abdominal pain, asthma, cold or flu, dizziness, fever, and sprains.
“We’ve had much success over the years working with New York-Presbyterian at our on-site Walgreens pharmacy,” said Pat Carroll, chief medical officer for Walgreens Healthcare Clinics. “We value this innovative collaboration and look forward to finding new and different ways to work together to enhance patient care.”
The kiosk hours at 40 Wall Street are 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday. Paediatric emergency medicine physicians can be reached from 6pm to 9pm on weekdays.
Launched in 2016, NYP OnDemand, in collaboration with Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia Doctors, is designed to improve access to New York-Presbyterian’s care, allowing patients to communicate with physicians from a mobile phone, tablet or computer, and now through these kiosks at select Duane Reade stores.