Thursday, October 29, 2015

Walgreens Convenient Healthcare

As technology makes lives easier around the United States, it continues to spread into the healthcare sector.  Walgreens is expanding their business to virtual treatments and doctor visits on demand (within certain hours).  A new startup called Pager is the force behind this innovation.  Pager allows for patients to talk to a doctor over the phone or use Uber in order to get a ride to the nearest healthcare facility.  Although this technology could be extremely useful, is the amount of collaboration between companies too great to offer an efficient service?
            Walgreens and Pager have partnered with Evolution, an on-demand startup owned by EnVision.  EnVision gave Pager access to another 31,000 healthcare providers nationwide.  This addition is gives Pager enormous potential to make their application one of the most commonly used for simple illnesses.  The new service will provide treatment for common ailments like sinus and ear infections, sore throats and skin problems. But the sheer size of Evolution — the biggest network of its kind in the US by far — makes the possibilities far wider,” says Pager cofounder and CEO Gaspard de Dreuzy (Covert 1).  Although these illnesses can easily be treated, can more serious fevers or viruses be treated in an appropriate timeframe?
In addition, Uber controls the movements of patients from their homes to the nearest medical facility.  This method seams like it is the same as calling 911 except there could be slight differences in transportation time.  In addition, due to the need for transportation services, is this technology only limited to high population areas?  In addition, Gaspard de Dreuzy, the cofounder and CEO of Pager made the remark that Pager’s healthcare is “on demand” whereas the competitor’s product is “video visit on demand.”  In some cases, video visit on demand would be much more convenient than going to see a doctor in person.  A videoconference with a doctor could help a patient avoid a trip to a hospital.  Ultimately, this new system could be revolutionary, however, it does not offer a significant enough change to the current model of healthcare that we had prior to Pager being created.

Covert, James. "Walgreens Expands Virtual Doctor Visits via Pager Platform." Walgreens Expands Virtual Doctor Visits via Pager Platform. N.p., 27 Oct. 2015. Web. 29 Oct. 2015.

1 comment:

  1. I feel as if the collaboration that is necessary for this concept to work is too involved to ensure its success. One major problem I see here is the dependence on Uber. The taxi service is much more convenient than local services, but we all know that a ride can be canceled at any point. If that were to happen when someone who was ill was expecting a punctual and on-time service, their illness could worsen very quickly. Also, Uber does not operate in many areas. For example, I live in a small city that has many Walgreens, but Uber does not currently run in my area. I feel that this would decrease a great deal of the profit opportunities for Walgreens. Further, Pager's medical advice given over the phone poses another concern for me. Vitals cannot be taken, appearance cannot be assed, and direct manipulation of the patient by the doctor cannot occur, which could lead to misdiagnosis or wrong advice given to the patient. This makes me concerned that a patient could actually become worse as a result of not being treated properly. The concept of this service appears like it could prosper. However, I think it would be best to eliminate a portion of the interdependence between businesses to remove some error that could arise.


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