Walmart and Amazon Expanding Their Healthcare Business
Even more corporations are looking into different venues of profit through consumer healthcare.
Most recent acquisition in this industry has been made by Walmart. The giant retailer revealed it has made an agreement with MeMD for integrating this telehealth provider into the Walmart Health network. According to retail statistics, online retail is generally on the rise and a lot of brick-and-mortar stores are incorporating various online branches to their business.
“Telehealth offers a great opportunity to expand access and reach consumers where they are and complements our brick-and-mortar Walmart Health locations. Today people expect omnichannel access to care, and adding telehealth to our Walmart Health care strategies allows us to provide in-person and digital care across our multiple assets and solutions,” said Dr. Cheryl Pegus, executive vice president of Walmart’s Health & Fitness division.
Currently, Walmart has 20 locations where it provides healthcare in-person, with plans for future expansions of this service already in motion. Compared to more than 4,700 retail locations it doesn’t look as impressive, which is the reason behind the latest acquisition. MeMD has been operating for more than a decade and its 24/7 healthcare service is another step into the omnichannel health service Walmart is aiming for.
Practically at the same time, Amazon has landed its very first customer for the Amazon Care health program. The Washington-based fitness equipment manufacturer Precor is now the first company that will use Amazon’s pay-per-user healthcare plan. Founded in 1980, Precor now has 800 employees and they’ll all get access to Amazon Care’s services, but the company won’t be paying a flat fee for that. Instead, the monthly fee is calculated based on how many of Precon’s employees actually use the service. This way, the customers can save significant amounts of money on healthcare without sacrificing anything to the end users. That is, their employees.
Of course, Amazon and Walmart aren’t the only big players fighting for their piece of the consumer healthcare cake. Walgreens and CVS Health Corp. are famously leveraging their physical locations to also offer affordable physical treatments, specifically for patients with conditions that would otherwise cost a lot to take care of. According to analysts, this is just the start of big acquisitions and expansions in this field.