October 21, 2010, 11:50 AM

New Walgreens Android app scans prescriptions for refills

The new Android app is one of several mobile commerce developments at Walgreens.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

Lead Photo

Walgreens' new Android app enables customers to scan bar codes to quickly refill prescriptions.

Walgreens has launched an app for Android phones that lets shoppers scan prescription labels, then view information on their mobile screens to confirm the prescription information and click to refill it, says Sona Chawla, senior vice president of e-commerce at Walgreen Co.

Similar apps for other mobile phones, including iPhone and BlackBerry, are in the works, she adds.

Walgreens already has other apps for iPhone and BlackBerry phones that let users refill prescriptions, but without the scanning feature. And iPhone users can check the availability of inventory in Walgreens stores.

Walgreens is also looking into additional functionality, including using GPS technology to inform consumers of promotions at stores they happen to be nearby. “This is how we think mobile will play,” Chawla says.

The retailer’s mobile commerce site, which it developed with mobile technology firm Usablenet Inc., provides much of the same features of its e-commerce site, including refilling or ordering new prescriptions, loading digital photos for printing at a Walgreens store, and checking the content of any store’s weekly advertising circular.

“We’re very excited about the usage we’re getting with mobile; it has exceeded our expectations,” Chawla says, declining to offer specifics on number of users or sales. “It really is like having a drug store in the palm of your hand.”

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