With telehealth services steadily rising in popularity in the last year, it comes as no surprise that Walmart has decided to enter the playing field. Recently, the company announced that it is acquiring MeMD, a remote healthcare option, and adding the service to its ever-growing line of healthcare-related services.
Walmart has aimed to be a one-stop shop since its conception. In recent years, Walmart has upped the ante with more healthcare offerings, launching Walmart Health in 2019 which offers in-store clinic consultations and physician services. Currently the services include primary care, dental, x-rays, audiology, labs, counseling, and optometry, with services varying in different locations.
Now, with the acquisition of MeMD, Walmart can effectively extend its telehealth offerings, and access customers outside of a brick-and-mortar environment. MeMD has been in the game since 2010, meaning it has an established advantage over many similar startups that have been launching left and right since the start of the pandemic. Walmart Health executives hope that this step will be the right one to gain leverage in a market that is quickly being enveloped by Amazon’s surge into healthcare.
According to research conducted by PYMNTS, Walmart is in for competition. As it stands, Amazon is projected to outgrow Walmart three times over by 2025, raising sales by 75% to a whopping $315 billion. Walmart, on the other hand, is estimated to grow by $100 billion in revenue by 2025.
This, however, does not necessarily indicate that things can’t shift with the right maneuvering. Walmart’s leap into healthcare is sure to drive an increase in profits. It is reported that nearly 90% of all Americans live within a 10-minute drive to Walmart. With those numbers, many may opt to use Walmart for healthcare services out of sheer convenience and name recognition, giving it a valuable advantage over Amazon.
There are other companies trying to keep a foot in the race as well, Doctors On Demand, CVS Health Corp, Walgreens Boots Alliance, and MDLIVE are among the many companies trying to succeed in the field.
Time will tell who will win the highest profit margins, and what is truly in store for consumers as a result of privatized healthcare taking such a dominant leap into a historically public industry.