Wal­mart part­ners with health app Share­care to en­gage work­force

The re­tail gi­ant is rolling out the tool to its 1.5 mil­lion em­ploy­ees in an ef­fort to boost well­ness by “in­creas­ing en­gage­ment, im­prov­ing health aware­ness and re­in­forc­ing healthy habits ev­ery day”

Employee Benefit News - - Contents - By Kathryn Mayer

The re­tail gi­ant is rolling out the tool to its 1.5 mil­lion em­ploy­ees in an ef­fort to boost well­ness by “in­creas­ing en­gage­ment, im­prov­ing health aware­ness and re­in­forc­ing healthy habits ev­ery day.”

Al­ready known for be­ing at the fore­front of well­ness ini­tia­tives for em­ploy­ees, Wal­mart is turn­ing to a digital health plat­form to take its ef­forts even fur­ther.

Wal­mart in May an­nounced it has part­nered with mo­bile health man­age­ment plat­form Share­care in an ef­fort to im­prove ac­cess to care for the re­tailer’s 1.5 mil­lion U.S. em­ploy­ees. Share­care pro­vides a cen­tral­ized hub for health in­for­ma­tion, as well as ways to ac­cess health data, find ev­i­dence-based pro­grams or con­nect to health pro­fes­sion­als.

By of­fer­ing Share­care, Wal­mart aims to “pro­vide as­so­ciates ad­di­tional tools to in­spire them on their well­ness jour­ney and help our pro­grams con­tinue to grow,” says Jac­qui Can­ney, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of global peo­ple at Wal­mart. Wal­mart is spon­sor­ing the cost of the plat­form, so there is no cost to em­ploy­ees. The com­pa­nies de­clined to dis­close the cost of the part­ner­ship.

Users will get ac­cess to Share­care ser­vices in­clud­ing RealAge as­sess­ment, which gives peo­ple the age of their body in­stead of their cal­en­dar age; the AskMD symp­tom checker fea­ture; bio­met­ric data; and med­i­cal and phar­macy claims.

“The pri­mary pur­pose is to im­prove the over­all well­be­ing of Wal­mart’s as­so­ciates and com­mu­ni­ties by in­creas­ing en­gage­ment, im­prov­ing health aware­ness and re­in­forc­ing healthy habits ev­ery day,” says Share­care pres­i­dent Dawn Wha­ley.

The part­ner­ship builds on Wal­mart’s al­ready com­pre­hen­sive well­be­ing strat­egy, Wha­ley says, which in­cludes the com­pany’s ZP Chal­lenge, a se­ries of 21-day pro­grams that en­cour­ages and re­wards as­so­ciates and their fam­i­lies for mak­ing bet­ter choices re­gard­ing fit­ness, fam­ily, food and money.

The Share­care plat­form will first be avail­able to em­ploy­ees who are en­rolled in the ZP Chal­lenge be­fore be­ing rolled out to other work­ers through­out the next few years, Wha­ley says.

“We’ll start there, and then steadily scale over the next three years to en­gage more than 1 mil­lion users across the Wal­mart com­mu­nity,” she says.

Wal­mart also plans to pro­vide Share­care ac­cess to its em­ploy­ees’ fam­i­lies and the com­mu­nity at large to “help them bet­ter un­der­stand, track and im­prove their health,” the com­pa­nies say.

The news comes at a time when more em­ploy­ers are of­fer­ing in­no­va­tive health­care so­lu­tions — in­clud­ing digital tools — in an ef­fort to get their em­ploy­ees healthier while re­duc­ing their own costs.

“Given the cur­rent state of health in the United States, large em­ploy­ers, in par­tic­u­lar, must be will­ing to de­liver their em­ploy­ees rel­e­vant and per­son­al­ized ex­pe­ri­ences,” says Jeff Arnold, Share­care’s co­founder and CEO. “And when it comes to mak­ing good on that com­mit­ment, Wal­mart bears the gold stan­dard.”

“Given the cur­rent state of health in the United States, large em­ploy­ers, in par­tic­u­lar, must be will­ing to de­liver their em­ploy­ees rel­e­vant and per­son­al­ized ex­pe­ri­ences.”

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