Albertsons Launches Digital Health Platform

Albertsons Companies Inc. has launched Sincerely Health, a digital health and wellness platform that offers telehealth services.

Sincerely Health is now accessible on 16 of its grocery banner apps and websites, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Shaw's, Jewel-Osco, and more.

"As a grocery and pharmacy retailer committed to the health and wellness of our communities, we are empowering customers to have a connected and personalized view of their health across food, nutrition, activity, mental well-being, and pharmacy services, enabling them to make more informed choices," said Omer Gajial, Chief Digital Officer and EVP Health at Albertsons Cos, in a press release.

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Sincerely Health offers an online pharmacy experience, such as tools for managing prescriptions and scheduling vaccine appointments, and allows users to connect with general practitioners via telehealth services.

The platform also enables customers to link popular activity trackers and log their vitals and medication regime. In addition, users can set small goals to improve their Health Score and track their progress.

The use of telehealth in the United States increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Government Accountability Office report, there were 53 million telehealth visits under Medicare in April to December 2020, compared to 5 million visits during the same period in 2019.

While telehealth services are especially beneficial for those suffering from chronic conditions or living in rural areas, telehealth usage sparks privacy concerns. A joint investigation by STAT News and The Markup revealed that dozens of telehealth companies were leaking sensitive medical information to large advertising platforms.

The investigation's authors warned that privacy regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) were not built for telehealth, leaving "ethical and moral gray areas."

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