Around the end of October, OneCare developer David Brelloch stumbled upon a competition listed on Challenge Post by Walgreens titled, “Balance Rewards App Challenge.” He has previously completed other competitions through this site (if you aren’t familiar with Challenge Post, click here) and decided to look into the details thinking OneCare’s platform may be a good entry.
Walgreens’ API was giving third party apps permission to connect with their existing services in order to share individual health and wellness information such as steps walked, running activities, weight tracking, etc. In doing so, these connected users would earn Balance Rewards Points that equate to Walgreens’ discounts.
Prize money was offered in three distinct categories:
- Walgreens Best Overall App Integration Award – $7,000
- Henry Ford Health System Patient Engagement Award – $3,000
- People’s Choice for Best App Integration Award – $3,000
With OneCare’s tagline often being,
CTO Brian Leslie agreed that
Thanks to Jason, the other member of OneCare’s two-person Development team, OneCare users are already able to sync with existing health trackers such as Fitbits, Withings and Jawbones to track healthy activities… like the ones Walgreens is now rewarding points for! With these integrations in place, David worked to directly connect OneCare to the Walgreens Balance Rewards Program so that OneCare users could earn reward points for all of the healthy activities they were already logging!
Secondly, an Android App was created to accompany the existing web platform to make it even easier for users to log their information!
“The app was designed using Xamarin which will allow us to leverage a lot of the same code for both the Android and iOS versions of the app.” – David Brelloch
Although the iOS version of the OneCare App was not submitted for the competition, it is currently being produced, and the developers worked together to ensure the same great user experience will be had on all devices. Features of the existing Android app include:
- view of connected Care Centers
- full dashboard with graphs
- interactive task list
- timeline of recent activities
- view and/or create Connections
The development team is still hard at work making improvements and adding features, but the app is live and currently available in the Google Play store here!
About a week before the submission deadline, we decided it would be beneficial to include a video to help explain how the new integration and associated app works with Walgreens Balance Rewards!
This video was made with GoAnimate.
The deadline for submission was the Friday after Thanksgiving, and the team pretty much worked throughout the Holiday to ensure everything was ready… and then we waited!
David was asked by the Walgreens API team if anyone from OneCare would be present at the mHealth Summit in DC the following week. At that time we did not have anyone going, but thanks to Walgreens offering us a spot in the new Consumer/Patient Engagement Pavilion, we were able to send CEO Gary Austin to the conference! With that event being the largest of its kind in the world, we were thrilled for the opportunity to have OneCare represented.
During the conference, Walgreens Chief Medical Officer, Harry Leider, announced that OneCare’s submission to the Walgreens Balance Reward App Challenge had won the Best Overall App Integration Award!! Needless to say I went to work spreading this awesome news throughout our social media channels.
The team is thrilled to have won this challenge (the $7,000 prize is nice too 🙂 ), and everyone is excited for what this could mean for OneCare in the future! Although we didn’t win People’s Choice, we want to thank everyone who took the time to view and vote for our submission…
OneCare certainly wouldn’t be where it is today without your support!!
– Bethany Thames
If you would like any additional information about the Challenge, the app, the OneCare platform or would like to provide user feedback please feel to contact me at email@example.com! We would love to hear from you.