Retail healthcare gets shot in the arm

The first wave of pandemic-era healthcare innovation, marked by the expansion of in-store clinics and telehealth services, is advancing as retailers add new dimensions to connected care.

Further evidence of the trend comes from Walmart, announcing Thursday (March 10) that it has something new for caregivers as well as the wellness-conscious consumer.

After renaming its online health efforts as Walmart Wellness Hub last year, the company is adding access to online virtual coaching platform BetterUp for Caregivers™ to Wellness Hub, as well as Easy Vitamin Plan , because it fills in the gaps and creates a more complete spectrum offers.

In a press release, Walmart said, “BetterUp for Caregivers™, a new exclusive offering from Walmart and BetterUp, gives caregivers access to live group coaching circles led by a professional BetterUp Coach, and includes personalized tools and a supportive community as they tackle daily challenges.

On the supplement side, “Easy Vitamin Plan has partnered with Walmart to bring its Personalized Vitamin Subscription Plan to Walmart customers. Easy Vitamin Plan makes personalized nutrition accessible and more affordable for Walmart customers by offering subscribers a 28-day supply of vitamins that meets specific needs at a low everyday price.

See also: Healthcare personalization is boosted by Walmart

The new subscription additions to Walmart Wellness Hub complete a series of moves the Bentonville giant took last year to capitalize on the sudden rise in remote and virtual care.

In September, the company partnered with electronic health records (EHR) company Epic, piloting a new online portal concept for patients and practitioners to access medical information.

Commenting on the Epic initiative, Walmart Health & Wellness Executive Vice President Dr. Cheryl Pegus said, “Leveraging best-in-class partners like Epic and their technology platform will help us deliver a unified healthcare across healthcare settings, geographies and multiple health data sources,” she says. “The Epic system complements our omnichannel healthcare offerings – enabling customers and healthcare professionals to access care and health records to drive more personalized care.”

See also: Walmart Health Teams with Epic on Patient Records Portal

Healthy competition

Walmart’s competitors are barely seated, with CVS HealthHub designed as a one-stop-shop for telehealth or clinic visits, and pharmacy discounts are over.

In January, CVS and Uber Health announced a partnership as part of the CVS Health Zones effort addressing the social determinants of health, including housing, education, access to food, labor labour, transport and access to health care.

In a press release, Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy and Chief Sustainability Officer of CVS Health, said, “With the Uber Health platform, we will provide essential transportation for people in the communities that need it most, giving them access to health care services so they can live healthier lives and to the jobs and educational programs that can help them reach their full potential.

Meanwhile, Amazon announced in late February that its Amazon Care service is now national.

While it also offers a growing complement of virtual offerings, “Amazon Care is on track to rapidly expand in-person care locations throughout 2022. The service is already available in Seattle, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas , Austin, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Arlington In 2022, we plan to bring in-person care services to over 20 additional cities, including major metropolitan areas like San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, and New York “, according to a press release.

See also: CVS and Walmart take the lead in omnichannel healthcare supermarkets for the post-pandemic era

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