Walmart plans to use its new healthcare blockchain to pay doctors and pharmacists and allow patients to buy health insurance on a shared network.
The move, announced Wednesday, comes amid growing interest in the technology from businesses, health plans and regulators around the world.
Walmart says the plan will allow people to pay for their prescriptions on a secure digital platform, similar to a payment card.
It will also allow them to pay their doctor, pharmacy or other healthcare provider with their smartphones.
The platform will allow a customer to manage all of their finances, including paying for insurance, and they can buy insurance on their own.
WalMart plans to roll out the new technology in more than 3,000 Walmart stores around the country by the end of 2019.
The Wal-Mart Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a mandate to support the development of blockchain technologies, says Walmart plans the technology to provide a platform for consumers to buy and sell insurance and health insurance products.
Wal-Mart said it will use the technology in three ways:It will create an open platform that enables consumers to purchase insurance and sell health insurance, it will help consumers make payments with their phones and its health insurance plans will use it to offer access to health insurance and prescription drugs.
Walton Siegel, Walmart’s vice president of health and wellness products, said in a statement that the company is excited about the potential of blockchain to bring transparency to healthcare, to reduce costs and to increase choice.
The technology could also help improve quality of care and reduce costs by reducing fraud and waste in the healthcare system, he added.
Walmer Siegel said the company has already seen its share of blockchain-based solutions used to pay physicians and pharmacians.
He added that Wal-mart is currently using blockchain technology in other ways.
Walmart is one of several U.S. retailers to be looking at the blockchain in healthcare.
At Walmart, a blockchain is a system that uses distributed ledger technology to record and verify transactions.
In January, Walmart announced it was working on blockchain-powered smart contracts to handle transactions in the grocery store, pharmacy and other retail stores.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in January that the Wal-Marts “Walmart Blockchain will be used to provide seamless, secure, and inexpensive access to all types of retail products, services, and benefits.
Walter Block, Walmart vice president for innovation and global public affairs, said Wal-marts blockchain system will allow Walmart to streamline its payment processing, payments and payments processing through blockchain technology.”
Walmart has not announced when the technology will be rolled out in stores.
“We are in the process of integrating the blockchain technology into our supply chain and retail network and plan to make this rollout available as soon as we can,” the statement read.
According to the Walgreens Foundation, Walmart is the largest U.K. employer with about 1.3 million people.
Walgreens plans to start offering healthcare blockchain-enabled solutions in stores beginning in 2019, and then expand to all its stores by 2020.
The foundation says it is committed to helping Walmart and other U.G. retailers move quickly to use the blockchain and that it will continue to advocate for adoption and adoption by other retailers.