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Doctor On Demand tests telemedicine kiosks in Wegmans stores

Retail telemedicine startup Doctor On Demand is testing the waters of the pharmacy market by installing tablet-based kiosks at Wegmans grocery stores in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.


Retail telemedicine service provider Doctor On Demand is testing the waters of the pharmacy market by installing tablet-based kiosks at four Wegmans Food Markets stores in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

Since late May, customers of Wegmans locations in DeWitt, N.Y., Niagara Falls, N.Y., Allentown, Pa., and Fairfax, Va., have been able to initiate consultations with remote physicians using iPads set up near each store’s pharmacy. “They’ve got a virtual clinic installed in their stores,” Seth Lasser, vice president for marketing at San Francisco-based Doctor On Demand, told MedCity News.

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A Deep-dive Into Specialty Pharma

A specialty drug is a class of prescription medications used to treat complex, chronic or rare medical conditions. Although this classification was originally intended to define the treatment of rare, also termed “orphan” diseases, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the US, more recently, specialty drugs have emerged as the cornerstone of treatment for chronic and complex diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.

“With Doctor On Demand, we can offer a full range of services to our pharmacy customers. It’s not always easy to get medical care, especially at night and on the weekends. This enables customers who might have a non-emergency medical need to access care either at the in-store virtual clinic or at home,” Katie Niles, pharmacy and wellness clinical services manager at Wegmans, headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., said in an e-mailed statement.

Doctor On Demand had a limited pilot at Mariano’s groceries in the Chicago area last year, but that “never really got out of the design phase,” Lasser said. “This is our first deeply integrated partnership.”

Although it is too early to draw any conclusions from the Wegmans trial, Lasser sounded an optimistic tone. “We’ve all been pleased with the initial response,” he said.

Lasser said that Doctor On Demand is “in discussions” with other regional supermarket chains, but did not share further details.

Photo: Doctor On Demand