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03/10/2022

Walmart launches new telehealth, online vitamin services

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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walmart-wellness
Walmart is adding two services to its Wellness Hub.

Walmart is continuing to expand its presence as an online provider of wellness products and services.

The discount giant is rolling out two new, exclusive online wellness offerings – a caregiver support telehealth program and a vitamin subscription plan. Following is more information on each offering, both now available via the Walmart Wellness Hub:

Support for caregivers
BetterUp for Caregivers, a new proprietary service from Walmart and the BetterUp personal/professional development platform, provides caregivers access to live group coaching circles led by a professional BetterUp coach. The service also includes customized tools and a community for support. According to Walmart, over 50 million Americans are caregivers, up from 43 million in 2015.

Personalized vitamins
Easy Vitamin Plan has teamed up with Walmart to offer its personalized vitamin subscription plan to Walmart customers. Easy Vitamin Plan offers subscribers a 28-day supply of vitamins, customized to meet their specific health needs, at a discounted price.

Walmart actively expands in online health space
In addition to these two new offerings, customers also have access to over 50 laboratory-quality tests including COVID-19, digestive health, allergy, heart health and more with options for professional support and guidance from QuestDirect, accessible through Walmart’s Wellness Hub. In January 2022, Walmart extended a partnership with clinical laboratory Quest Diagnostics to enable consumers to purchase from an assortment of more than 50 different tests, including general health, digestive health, allergy, heart health, women's health and infectious disease.

This new collaborative offering followed a pilot of drone delivery of at-home COVID-19 self-collection kits Walmart ran with Quest Diagnostics and nationwide drone services provider DroneUp in North Las Vegas in September 2020. 

In addition, Walmart is partnering with health records system company Epic to integrate all of the retailer’s health and wellness lines of business – across channels. By creating a single, unified system, Walmart intends to engage patients, health care professionals, insurance carriers and other stakeholders in its Walmart Health offering through a unified portal.

The Epic EMR platform will support all of Walmart’s health-and-wellness lines of businesses as it is rolled out, and is being initially implemented in four new Walmart Health Centers opening in Florida in early 2022.

In June 2021, Walmart acquired the technology platform, patents and intellectual property of CareZone, which developed an app that helps people manage their health information and medications. Individuals can also use the app to scan labels or insurance cards to speed and simplify the process.

CareZone, which also operates an online pharmacy that puts customers’ medications into pill packs and delivers them to patients via mail, will remain a separate company unrelated to Walmart. At the time of the acquisition, Walmart said CareZone would augment its current health & wellness capabilities and support its focus on the digital health care solutions process.

And in May 2021, Walmart announced it would acquire MeMD, a multi-specialty telehealth provider. The purchase will allow Walmart to expand its Walmart Health services by providing access to virtual care services across the nation. Walmart said the services, including urgent, behavioral and primary care, will complement its in-person Walmart Health store offering.

Meanwhile, chief Walmart rival Amazon has been expanding its on-demand telehealth service, Amazon Care, to its own employees and third-party partner companies since March 2021.

“Walmart is making wellness more accessible and affordable, in turn helping empower customers to achieve their goals this year and beyond,” said Julie Barber, senior VP of health and wellness merchandising, Walmart U.S., in a corporate blog post. “With the launch of these services, we are building on the commitments and investments we’ve made over the past several years, and we will continue expanding our offerings to best serve our customers’ health and wellness needs.”