RB Connects Walmart Shoppers with Virtual Doctors
RB is offering Walmart shoppers a free virtual medical consultation with purchase of Mucinex, Delsym, Airborne or Digestive Advantage for cold and flu season.
Through a partnership with virtual care provider Doctor On Demand, purchase of a participating product at any Walmart store or walmart.com earns a live video chat with a board-certified doctor via smartphone, tablet or laptop.
Running Sept. 22 through Dec. 30, the promotion is intended to address inaccessibility to proper medical care and dwindling trust in the current system, providing an alternative to the long wait times and high costs associated with seeing a doctor.
"This initiative is a big first step in delivering on RB and Walmart's shared purpose of unlocking every American's right to healthier lives. WE found through research that many Walmart shoppers are looking for new ways to take health matters into their own hands," said Gregory Chabidon, chief marketing officer, RB U.S. Health, in a media release. "We are really excited to learn from this and to continue building on our healthcare collaboration with Walmart."
In store pharmacy departments, a side panel promotes the partnership as "the easiest way to see a doctor, 24/7," instructing shoppers to upload qualifying receipts to a promotional website (specialdoctoroffer.com). Shelf strips outfitting an endcap merchandising qualifying product also support.
Doctor On Demand already had a direct contract with Walmart, allowing the retailer's employees to use the services. The partners have also worked jointly on a pilot that put virtual exam rooms in 22 Walmart locations. Those customized locations were designed to help physicians with the detection of issues like diabetes and hypertension, and wired to let the Walmart wellness team “spring into action” with the appropriate prescription or medical equipment, Doctor On Demand chief executive officer Hill Ferguson told pymnts.com.
Other healthcare moves Walmart has made in the last year or so include a partnership with payment technology company TSYS to reward patient compliance and a new over-the-counter (OTC) medication deal with health benefits company Anthem that launches in January 2019. There also are rumors that the retailer may purchase health insurance provider Humana, with whom it currently offers a co-branded Medicare drug plan.