Technology has the potential to revolutionize healthcare over the coming years with Google internally spinning up a health division, while Alphabet has Verily. The latter today announced a strategic partnership with Walgreens on multiple projects to help patients with chronic conditions, and lower the cost of care.
Walgreens will be Verily’s “first-choice retail pharmacy development and commercialization partner.” The two companies are broadly collaborating on multiple projects, like:
“Developing a medication adherence pilot project that will deploy devices and other approaches designed to improve adherence.”
Getting patients to keep taking prescriptions after a hospital visit or as part of a long-term condition management is a challenge for the medical field. Verily CEO Andrew Conrad describes medication adherence as “significant and costly barriers to improving patient outcomes.”
One of the more immediate efforts leverages another partnership that Verily has with pharmaceutical company Sanofi. It is aimed at Walgreens employees and family members with Type 2 diabetes, and deals with managing the condition.
Onduo provides tools, coaching and remote access to specialty doctors to help people with diabetes to manage their condition anytime, anywhere. These initiatives are part of a broader strategic alliance designed to combine Verily’s healthcare technology innovation with Walgreens corner store presence and trusted pharmacy services.
Other initiatives include exploring ways to “improve access to advanced healthcare technologies and solutions.” This could include devices with sensors and software to “help prevent, manage, screen and diagnose disease” with the end goal of “scaling deployment at Walgreens retail locations.”
The latter would help Verily commercialize its years of research by bringing it to consumers. Since its inception in 2015, the Alphabet division has been working with medical partners on a number of projects. This includes smart contact lenses for presbyopia and recovery after cataract surgery, as well as glucose monitors.