Walmart is already in the healthcare business, serving 140 million customer visits weekly, millions of whom fill prescriptions at the store pharmacy, seek personal care in the health and beauty aisles, track blood pressure using a Higi health kiosk, and shop for healthier foods in the grocery aisles. The world’s largest company on the Global Fortune 500 list hosted a Retail Health Summit in June, the details of which have been published in a special report by Drug Store News.
The Summit, produced by Dan Mack’s Mack Elevation Forum and Drug Store News, convened stakeholders from across the retail health landscape: including over-the-counter medicines, personal care, aging-at-home, caregiving, genomics, disease management and population health, technology, eye health, health education, consumer goods and electronics, nutrition, health insurance, health investors and innovation/incubators. The companies addressing these viewpoints included 23andMe, Abbott Nutrition, Aetna, Bausch + Lomb, Drive DeVilbiss, Gojo (makers of Purell), GreatCall, Higi, Honor, IBM Watson Health, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark, Life Bio, McKesson, Medline, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, Procter & Gamble, RB North America, Startup Health, UnitedHealthcare, among others.
I was gratified to be a keynote speaker at the event, kicking off the morning talking about the most important “noun” in healthcare — the consumer, patient, and caregiver. You can read a summary of my remarks in the Summit report.
Dan Mack framed the Summit and the retail health opportunity, saying, “All of us live in an interdependent ecosystem. Brands — and the marketplace as a whole — also are part of interconnected communities. In the future, we will all be working closely with competitors to create deeper networks — expanding solutions and solving bigger problems.”
Health Populi’s Hot Points: As consumers take on more financial responsibility for healthcare, they’re also becoming more engaged in clinical decisions. Most consumers seek access, convenience, streamlined experience, and time-saving, along with help and support for self-care and for caregiving — a growing stressor in aging societies the world over.
Solving these challenges will require collaboration among stakeholders who traditionally might see themselves as competitors — the blurring world of “coop-etition,” on a case-by-case basis, driven by problem-solving and target-marketing. This Summit confirmed that every type of stakeholder in the room – from eye care to personal care, OTCs to nutrition – realized that silos must be broken to meet the demands of the increasingly savvy, demanding, paying retail health customer.