Wal-Mart to enter medical records digitization market

Mar 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: BMW to reveal driverless innovations that allow for 360- degree collision avoidance and valet parking

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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

Mar 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.

US struggles to pinpoint cyber attacks: Top official

Mar 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.

Hewlett Packard to create 500 jobs in Ireland

Mar 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 ...

Recommended for you

Cheaper, more powerful VR system for engineers

Dec 17, 2014

It's like a scene from a gamer's wildest dreams: 12 high-definition, 55-inch 3D televisions all connected to a computer capable of supporting high-end, graphics-intensive gaming.

Nokia HERE prepares maps for autonomous cars

Dec 17, 2014

Autonomous cars will need a new kind of map, a crucial element that until now has been given a back seat to the more popularly discussed issues of sensors and legal questions. Senior Writer Greg Miller in ...

Dutch launch 'intelligent bicycle' that warns of danger

Dec 15, 2014

The Netherlands on Monday launched its first-ever "intelligent bicycle", fitted with an array of electronic devices to help bring down the high accident rate among elderly cyclists in the bicycle-mad country.

User comments : 0

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.