Walmart has acquired the technology behind CareZone, a medication-management startup, in a move to strengthen its digital health presence.
Walmart purchased patents, intellectual property and technology from CareZone, which will remain a separate company. CareZone will continue to operate an online pharmacy.
CareZone’s technology includes a mobile app that helps individuals and families organize health information and manage medications. That includes a method it developed to scan prescription labels and insurance cards so that users can input that information directly into the app.
Employees of CareZone’s product and technology teams that built the app will join Walmart as part of the deal.
“The technology and team members joining Walmart will augment our current health & wellness capabilities and support our focus on digital healthcare solutions,” Lori Flees, senior vice president for health and wellness at Sam’s Club, and Sean Slovenski, senior vice president for health and wellness at Walmart U.S., wrote in a blog post announcing the acquisition.
Walmart did not disclose financial details of the transaction.
Walmart, which already offers an app for users to refill and manage prescriptions at its pharmacies, recently has been taking more aggressive steps into healthcare. The company last year opened a set of primary care centers in Georgia dubbed Walmart Health, which offer labs, x-ray and diagnostics, mental health counseling, dental, optical, and hearing services.
Walmart said the primary care centers will offer prices that are 30% to 50% lower than what people currently pay at doctors’ and dentists’ offices.
Walmart could face competition from Amazon as the two retail companies move into healthcare. Amazon in 2018 purchased PillPack, an online pharmacy startup that offers home delivery. Late last year, the company unveiled an effort to let users manage medications using Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa.