- Walgreens said it has added Dexcom, maker of the G6 continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system, and Propeller Health, whose sensors monitor usage on a patient's inhaler, to a growing list of healthcare products and service providers on its Find Care digital marketplace.
- The new additions mark an expansion into chronic care management with connected devices for patients with diabetes, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- Walgreens said it has added a number of healthcare offerings from new and existing customers since launching the platform last year.
The pharmacy retailer introduced Find Care a year ago with the goal of directing customers to lower-cost health services including telemedicine and urgent care centers within its stores. The platform promotes transparency, listing prices for various services.
Since the launch of the marketplace, Walgreens has added collaborations with Vanderbilt Health, Aspen Dental, Partners in Primary Care, Norton Healthcare, Community Health Network and Houston Methodist, offering services such as primary care, telehealth and dental.
Roughly 30 million adults have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, about 25 million U.S. adults and children have asthma and more than 15 million adults have COPD. Walgreens said the platform can help patients learn to better manage these conditions.
These patient populations are ripe for conversion to new technologies such as CGM and monitored asthma inhalers.
Dexcom's CGM gives patients real-time glucose information via a sensor implanted under the skin that sends data to a wireless device through a transmitter, without the need for finger sticks. The water-resistant sensor can also provide customizable alerts warning patients when blood sugar highs and lows are possible and can be worn up to 10 days.
G6 received marketing authorization early last year as the inaugural device permitted under FDA's iCGM (integrated continuous glucose monitoring) label.
Walgreens Director of Healthcare Innovation Giovanni Monti clarified in an email to MedTech Dive that diabetes patients interested in the G6 can complete a questionnaire through the Find Care platform, which should then be shared with a healthcare provider for further discussion. The sensor must be prescribed by a healthcare provider; it is not available for over-the-counter purchase at Walgreens.
Propeller's system works by attaching a sensor to a patient's existing inhaler to track medication use, sending that information to a mobile app. The system includes medication medication adherence reminders, air quality forecasts and symptom insights to help with disease management. The platform can also share information with the patient's physician between appointments.
And inhaler monitoring systems like Propeller's have been found to lower COPD hospitalizations, according to a recent study.
Propeller was acquired earlier this year by respiratory device maker ResMed in a $225 million transaction.
This story has been updated with additional information from Walgreens.