Loblaw Companies Ltd. has partnered with Toronto-based healthtech startup League to develop and launch the grocery giant’s new health-focused app, which is intended to provide Canadians access to care and resources.
The partnership follows shortly after Loblaw Companies partnered with Maple.
The new offering, called the PC Health app, will give users free access to registered nurses and dietitians who can provide advice and support as well as receive rewards for completing customized health goals. The app is currently available in the Atlantic provinces, and the companies plan to roll out the app nationally in the coming weeks. Update: As of November 23, Loblaw has also launched the app in Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta.
Loblaw’s partnership with League comes two years after League’s $62 million financing round in 2018. That round received participation from Wittington Ventures, the subsidiary of a holding company owned by the prominent Weston family, which also owns and operates Loblaws. Wittington also participated in an undisclosed follow-on investment in League in September 2019.
“This new personalized “front door” creates a true omnichannel and loyalty experience designed to reach and engage users on their personal health journey,” said Michael Serbinis, founder and CEO of League. “Thousands of people already use League every day to manage their health and get support, we’re thrilled to now be able to help thousands more.”
Founded in 2014, League offers a data-driven platform designed to provide a single access hub for employees to engage with their health, lifestyle and benefit programs.
The new PC Health App features what Loblaw called “care navigators,” who will help guide each user’s health journey, provide access to consultations with registered nurses and dietitians, and offers health programs to help users develop healthy habits. Users also have the ability to earn PC Optimum rewards for reaching health program milestones along the way.
Over the last six months, Loblaw has increased its involvement with Canadian healthtech startups, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, Loblaw Companies took a minority stake in Maple through a $75 million investment, six months after its subsidiary Shoppers Drug Mart began working with the startup.
Through that partnership, Maple and Shoppers made virtual care available in more than 160 Shoppers Drug Mart locations in British Columbia and have also jointly facilitated nearly 20,000 virtual care visits during the pandemic.
“We exist to help Canadians live their lives as well as they can. We know that access to care and understanding how to best navigate the healthcare system are two of the biggest challenges facing many of our customers,” said Jeff Leger, president of Shoppers Drug Mart. “The PC Health app combines the power of our robust healthcare network, extensive professional care services and our world-class loyalty program into a healthcare solution for Canadians, right at their fingertips.”
UPDATE 23/11/2020: This article has been update to denote the additional provinces Loblaw’s app is available in.
Image source Loblaw Companies Ltd. via CNW Group.