Walmart latest brand to expand employee telehealth pilot
As with seemingly everything in the retail sector these days, Amazon tends to lead the pack in bringing innovative solutions to its customers and workers. This includes launching a recent telehealth pilot, Amazon Care, designed to better serve employees who otherwise may not have easy access to many standard health services.
Now Walmart, the number two e-commerce giant, is following right on the heels of the market leader by announcing just days after the launch of Amazon Care the expansion of Walmart’s own connected health program in three test markets.
The company already offers a few different kinds of telehealth services to employees: For $4, most employees can access some form of primary care through a virtual platform that facilitates video chat. But workers in Colorado, Minnesota and Wisconsin will have access to an expanded menu of services via Walmart’s Healthcare Assistant platform in their mHealth app. These services include treatment for preventative health, chronic care management, urgent care and behavioral health.
“Associates can use Healthcare Assistant to address a variety of health needs, starting with billing and appointments, but also finding a quality provider, understanding a diagnosis and addressing other complex questions,” the company said in a press release. “The assistant will also help with peripheral needs, such as coordinating transportation and finding child care during appointments.”
This comes almost a month after Walmart’s Sam’s Club affiliate partnered with connected health company 98point6 to offer telehealth visits to employees for $1 a piece via the “Sam’s Club Care Accelerator Together with Humana” program.
While Amazon is often cited as the definition of a retail behemoth, Walmart still leads its internet-born competitor when it comes to employee count, with more than 1.5 million Americans working across the Walmart ecosystem, from brick-and-mortar big box stores to massive facilitation centers. Bringing telehealth solutions to all of these workers requires a robust and sprawling web of connections between employer, employee and all of the healthcare services and providers available to serve them – not to mention the multiple ISPs and cloud providers that make this connectivity a reality.
Network Visibility is key in ensuring treatment can be doled out effectively and without interruption. But the connections between one healthcare network, the network hosting the application from the employer’s side and the remote location where employees access treatment may not be readily visible without additional solutions.
With comprehensive monitoring that can see hop-by-hop and end-to-end across diverse network connections, employers can rest assured knowing their employees are getting the treatment they seek and not struggling with the healthcare plan provided. It’s especially critical that enterprise networks of such scale and complexity employ solutions that are built to handle such massive traffic loads between such a diverse array of network environments.