Woolworths Offers Virtual Healthcare via HealthyLife Platform

HealthyLife, the wellness platform owned by retail giant Woolworths, has recently announced that it is expanding its services to include virtual healthcare. This means that patients can now schedule telehealth appointments with doctors, naturopaths, and dietitians through the platform.

The process is simple: patients can log on to the HealthyLife platform and make a same-day booking with a general practitioner, thanks to a partnership with ASX-listed digital health company Global Health. The platform connects users to a third-party network of doctors across the country who have availability in their schedules for virtual consultations. However, it is important to note that bulk-billing is not available for this service, and a 15-minute appointment with a doctor costs $45.

In addition to doctor consultations, HealthyLife also offers bookings with accredited dietitians or nutritionists for $115. Virtual naturopath consultations, on the other hand, are free of charge. This move represents Woolworths’ latest foray into the health and wellness sector, following the launch of the HealthyLife platform in 2021. The platform was created with the goal of selling nutrition and wellness products while also providing health content.

HealthyLife’s managing director, Ananth Sarathy, believes that the decision to offer telehealth appointments is a major milestone for the business. According to Sarathy, “When we realized what we could do in this space in regard to accessibility, it was a no-brainer. The pitch wrote itself, if you like.”

However, some industry groups have raised concerns about relying on direct-to-consumer telehealth services, arguing that they can compromise patient care. For instance, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has warned that these services put the onus on patients to know their history and inform their usual GP and other specialists of what medicines, diagnoses, or advice they have been given.

Similarly, a spokesperson for the Pharmacy Guild of Australia has stated that they are monitoring Woolworths’ focus on the sector closely, highlighting that most patients live close enough to a pharmacy to not have to rely on delivery for prescriptions.

Despite these concerns, Sarathy has clarified that HealthyLife’s virtual consultations are not designed to replace in-person consultations but rather provide another option for times when users can’t access other care. As he explains, “We know that there are many reasons why patients may need to speak with a real GP via phone or video call. 

For example, when they are not physically able to leave the house, for children’s health advice, or simply because they cannot access their regular doctor. We hope our telehealth offering helps bridge the gap in those moments when customers need fast and convenient access to a health practitioner.”

It is worth noting that Woolworths is not the only retail giant expanding its healthcare offerings. Fellow company Wesfarmers has also been actively pursuing expansion in this sector and recently acquired Priceline operator Australian Pharmaceutical Industries in a deal worth over $770 million.

For the latest retailer news and information, check out the IndiHub website or to speak to us on how we can help your business contact us.

Scroll to Top