Wal-Mart to enter medical records digitization market

March 11, 2009
Early morning shoppers await the opening of a Wal-Mart store, in Panorama City, California, in 2007. US retail titan Wal-Mart is poised to enter the medical data market with the launch of a package that would help small doctor's practices to digitize their medical records, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

US retail titan Wal-Mart is poised to enter the medical data market with the launch of a package that would help small doctor's practices to digitize their medical records, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The consumer goods retailer, which is best known for its low-tech, cut-price household goods, will make the plunge in the coming weeks into the high-tech world of digitized , which was given a 19-billion-dollar boost in President Barack Obama's stimulus bill.

The system will be offered through Sam's Club, Wal-Mart's wholesale branch, which has "a long history of serving small business and over 200,000 medical professionals who are members," spokeswoman Susan Koehler told AFP.

"We feel a great need. We feel the timing is right given our country's goals for . This will enable small town physicians to have greater access to health information technology," said Koehler.

eClinicalWorks will provide the software for the system and Wal-Mart is "in discussions with Dell" for the hardware, Koehler said.

The system would cost 25,000 dollars for the first doctor in a practice and 10,000 dollars for the second and third. The typical size of medical practices that are members of Sam's Club is one to three 2-3 doctors.

Wal-Mart is offering "bundles" which include the hardware, software, installation, training and maintenance.

"What has been a big barrier up to now is that doctors had to purchase all the individual elements, including training and maintenance," said Koehler.

"There was never one single purchase point. We will become that single point to funnel medical professionals through partners like eClinicalWorks and a hardware partner that will make this a streamlined experience," she said.

The medical system would free up space, "get rid of all the paper" and ease communication with laboratories and hospitals, said Koehler.

"It's not intended to replace a person," such as a medical secretary, she said.

Wal-Mart expects to roll out the system in the next few months. Purchasing and installing a system would take another three months, to allow experts to evaluate the needs of the practice looking to install it.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Hewlett Packard to create 500 jobs in Ireland

Related Stories

Hewlett Packard to create 500 jobs in Ireland

March 10, 2009

US technology company Hewlett Packard is to create 500 jobs with an 18-million-euro (23-million-dollar) expansion of its global service desk operation in Leixlip, County Kildare southwest of Dublin, Prime Minister Brian Cowen ...

US struggles to pinpoint cyber attacks: Top official

March 10, 2009

The United States often cannot quickly or reliably trace a cyber attack back to its source, even as rival nations and extremists may be looking to wage virtual war, a top official warned Tuesday.

AT&T to put 8,000 natural-gas vehicles on road

March 11, 2009

(AP) -- AT&T Inc. said Wednesday it will spend up to $350 million over five years to buy more than 8,000 Ford Motor Co. vans and trucks, then convert them to run on compressed natural gas.

Recommended for you

Internet giants race to faster mobile news apps

October 4, 2015

US tech giants are turning to the news in their competition for mobile users, developing new, faster ways to deliver content, but the benefits for struggling media outlets remain unclear.

Radio frequency 'harvesting' tech unveiled in UK

September 30, 2015

An energy harvesting technology that its developers say will be able to turn ambient radio frequency waves into usable electricity to charge low power devices was unveiled in London on Wednesday.

Professors say US has fallen behind on offshore wind power

September 29, 2015

University of Delaware faculty from the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE), the College of Engineering and the Alfred Lerner School of Business and Economics say that the U.S. has fallen behind in offshore wind ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.