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 last week 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 program 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.

Bloomberg

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 Walmart’s 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.”

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