CVS Launches Voice Prescription Technology

The new service will be available in all CVS pharmacies by 2021.

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Need to Know

  • The new tool, available on the CVS app, was created for visually impaired customers.
  • Users simply hold their phone within four inches of a tagged prescription and medication details are read aloud.
  • The service is being launched in select locations and will be available in all CVS pharmacies by 2021.

Analysis

US pharmacy giant CVS is rolling out a new tool to make its online presence more accessible, making spoken-prescription technology available via its app.

Spoken RX, which provides information in English or Spanish, can be used through the CVS mobile app on Android or iOS. CVS plans to make NFC-enabled devices and speakers available soon. To use it, customers must hold their phone at least four inches away from an RFID-tagged prescription. The app will then read prescription details aloud.

The function, which is available to CVS customers free-of-charge, is rolling out at select locations, and CVS plans to make it available at all locations across the U.S. by 2021. Spoken RX was specifically developed with CVS’s visually impaired customers in mind; according to the American Foundation for the Blind, computer users who are blind usually use a screen-reader or similar technology to access digital information.

Pharmacies have been ramping up their digital functionality and customer friendliness, especially in the wake of COVID-19, as the way customers access prescriptions and other essential medical services drastically shifted.

In April, CVS partnered with UPS to offer prescription delivery via drone; Amazon, which is gradually moving into the healthcare market, began offering medication-management for Alexa users in November of 2019. CVS competitor Walgreens, meanwhile, announced plans to open roughly 700 primary care clinics over the next five years, in partnership with VillageMD.

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