The first wave of pandemic era healthcare innovation marked by expansion of in-store clinics and telehealth services is progressing as retailers add new dimensions in connected care.
New evidence of the trend comes from Walmart, announcing on Thursday (March 10) that it’s got something new for caregivers as well as the wellness-minded consumer.
After rebranding its online health efforts as the Walmart Wellness Hub last year, the company is adding access to the BetterUp for Caregivers™ online virtual coaching platform to Wellness Hub, along with Easy Vitamin Plan, as it closes gaps and builds a more full-spectrum offering.
In a press release, Walmart said, “BetterUp for Caregivers™, a new and exclusive offering from Walmart and BetterUp, provides caregivers access to live group coaching circles led by a professional BetterUp coach, and includes customized tools and a community for support as they navigate daily challenges.”
On the supplements side, “Easy Vitamin Plan has teamed up with Walmart to offer its personalized vitamin subscription plan to Walmart customers. Easy Vitamin Plan makes customized nutrition accessible and more affordable for Walmart customers by offering subscribers a 28-day supply of vitamins that meets specific needs at an everyday low price.”
See also: Healthcare Personalization Gets Boost From Walmart
The new subscription additions to the Walmart Wellness Hub complement a series of moves the Bentonville behemoth made last year to leverage the sudden rise of remote and virtual care.
In September the company partnered with electronic health records (EHR) firm Epic, piloting a new online concept portal allowing patients and practitioners to access medical information.
Of the Epic initiative, Walmart Health & Wellness EVP Dr. Cheryl Pegus said, “Leveraging best in class partners like Epic and their technology platform will assist us in providing an unified health record across care settings, geographies and multiple sources of health data,” she said. “The Epic system complements our omnichannel healthcare offerings — letting customers and healthcare professionals access care and health records to lead to more personalized care.”
See also: Walmart Health Teams with Epic on Patient Records Portal
Walmart’s competitors are hardly sitting it out, with CVS HealthHub designed as a one-stop shop for telehealth or clinic visits, together with pharmacy discounts are more.
In January, CVS and Uber Health announced a partnership as part of CVS’s Health Zones effort addressing social determinants of health including housing, education, access to food, labor, transportation, and healthcare access.
In a press release, CVS Health Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy and Chief Sustainability Officer Eileen Howard Boone said, “With the Uber Health platform, we’ll provide critical transportation to people within communities who need it most, giving them access to health care services so they can live healthier lives and to 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 has 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, DC , and Arlington. In 2022, we plan to bring in-person care services to more than 20 additional cities—including major metropolitan areas like San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, and New York City,” per a press release.
See also: CVS, Walmart Take Lead on Omnichannel Healthcare Superstores for Post-Pandemic Era