Health Services, Startups, Health Tech

Rite Aid launches new retail-based telehealth kiosks with InTouch Health

Through the company’s line of RediClinic retail clinics, customers will be able to use InTouch Health’s virtual care software to connect with clinicians for video visits through available RediClinic Express kiosks. 

Camp Hill, Pennsylvania-based retail pharmacy chain Rite Aid has launched a new in-store telemedicine service in partnership with InTouch Health.

Through the company’s line of RediClinic retail clinics, customers will be able to use InTouch Health’s virtual care software to connect with clinicians for video visits through available RediClinic Express kiosks.

Rite Aid operates 25 RediClinics inside select pharmacies in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, along with 36 locations in H-E-B grocery stores in Texas.

RiteAid is attempting to differentiate its in-store telehealth services by integrating medical devices and point-of-care testing from trained medical assistants that is meant to give patients a more transparent care delivery experience.

The kiosks are private and the medical assistant helps to take vital signs and conduct a medical survey before being linked with a remote clinician for further care. The doctor will then help diagnose the patient, determine a treatment plan and, if necessary, send a prescription to the associated Rite Aid pharmacy or refer out to another provider.

In order to book a virtual visit, patients can schedule appointments online, check-in for themselves using an in-store tablet or speak with the trained medical assistant charged with managing the kiosk.

The company will launch the first Express kiosks in Pennsylvania which will be focused on urgent care needs like the flu, upper respiratory infections and UTIs, along with preventive and wellness visits.

“Virtual care is another opportunity for Rite Aid to offer patients the convenience of faster service and value-based healthcare,” Rite Aid EVP of Pharmacy and Retail Operations Jocelyn Konrad said in a statement.

“We are continually looking for ways to serve our patients differently by utilizing technology and are excited to launch virtual care via our initial RediClinic Express kiosks and look forward to improving healthcare outcomes of our customers in those communities.”

Pharmacy companies continue to boost up their in-store care delivery services as a way to diversify their revenue streams in the face of new entrants to the industry like Amazon and declining reimbursement rates.

Rite-Aid has lagged in this respect compared to competitors like CVS Health and Walgreens. The company has continued to see continuing declines in profits, revenue and locations in the wake of a number of failed acquisition attempts from the likes of Walgreens and Albertsons.

Earlier this year, the company’s board decided to cut around 400 corporate positions in an attempt to save costs and steer the company in a new directions. Among those that lost their jobs was CEO John Standley, who led the company for a period of nine years.

Picture: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images