Walgreens is Now Offering Virtual Skincare, Mobile Health Market Continues to Explode
Considering the average wait time for patients seeking a dermatological consultation in the United States is around 29 days (or more), it’s no surprise that consumers are turning to their mobiles for the services they need. The mobile health market is expected to reach $24.2 billion worldwide.
On Monday, Walgreens announced the launch of a new “skin care answers platform,” in a bid to help meet the growing need for accessible skin care resources, care and treatment. Consumers need only to visit the drugstore chain’s website or mobile app. “More than 2 million people visit our digital channels each day,” explains Greg Orr, Vice President of Digital Health at Walgreens. “This is another way we can help address access challenges by giving our customers more convenient channels and resources to meet their health care needs.”
The skin care platform will provide consumers with information on common skin conditions, courtesy of WebMD as well as connect users to Walgreens pharmacy staff via live, 24/7 chat. Walgreens has also partnered with Iagnosis to bring customers DermatologistOnCall, the nation’s largest teledermatology-focused telehealth network. Customers will have access to a plethora of dermatology specialists, using video consultations to receive relevant answers to any medical queries from a licensed-provider in their state. Online consultations are $59 each. According to Roeen Roashan, Medical Technology Analyst at I.H.S. research firm, “Teledermatology has proven to be almost as effective as face-to-face visits in diagnosing conditions.”
With thousands of healthcare apps available for both consumers and healthcare professionals, the mobile health market is booming. Video consultations, with their convenience and broader accessibility, are expected to double by 2020, jumping to 27 million in the US market alone. Like with every other industry, as smartphone ownership and usage increases, so does the expectation that anything and everything can be accessed with the tap of a phone or tablet screen, thus, completely changing the the way companies interact with consumers forever.
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