At a time when major drug chains are using wellness initiatives to differentiate their operations from cross-channel competitors that provide pharmacy services, Walmart has acquired specific assets of CareZone, including the technology platform, patents and key intellectual property, to provide a way for its customers to organize health information and access vital health services.
Wellness has become a bigger consumer issue, and Walmart is enhancing its competitive position with the CareZone acquisition. In a post on Walmart’s corporate website, Lori Flees, svp/health and wellness, Sam’s Club, and Sean Slovenski, svp/health and wellness, Walmart U.S., stated that the move provides Walmart with several assets including a mobile app CareZone has developed that helps individuals and families manage medicine and chronic illness for each member of the household. Among its other uses, the app can incorporate scanned labels or insurance cards and produce them electronically as needed.
With the acquisition, members of the CareZone product and technology team that built the app will move over to Walmart. They will work to quickly integrate CareZone with Walmart’s existing systems and promote innovation using the technology. Further, they will augment Walmart’s current health and wellness capabilities while simultaneously supporting the company’s focus on digital healthcare solutions, according to the blog post. Otherwise, CareZone will remain a separate company unrelated to Walmart.
Acquisition of the CareZone technology platform is another example of the continued commitment Walmart is making to lowering the cost of healthcare for the 160 million customers who shop its stores each week, a commitment that includes offering convenient options across multiple channels to help consumers manage health and wellness, the executives stated in the post.
Walmart has recently launched initiatives to stem opiod abuse and introduced its second health center, this as part of a remodeled supercenter in Calhoun, GA. The Walmart Health facility offers quality, affordable and accessible healthcare for members of the Calhoun community, the company maintined. In partnership with several on-the-ground health providers, it delivers primary and urgent care, labs, x-ray and diagnostics, counseling, dental, optical and hearing services all in one facility at affordable, transparent pricing regardless of a patient’s insurance status, Walmart noted.