Loblaw Companies Ltd. is expanding the launch of its mobile health and wellness app, a free digital tool the company says will help Canadians navigate the health-care system.
The grocery and pharmacy retailer said Monday it's making the PC Health app available to download in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta after an initial roll out in Atlantic Canada last month.
The app comes amid an expansion of digital health technologies and increasing efforts by retailers to extend customer experience – and loyalty – beyond the traditional brick-and-mortar store.
Jeff Leger, president of Shoppers Drug Mart, said the expanding role of pharmacists in health care makes the company well suited to offer "a digital front door for health care."
"Our view is that pharmacies over the next couple of years are going to play a greater role in the delivery of primary care in the community," he said, noting that pharmacists are increasingly turned to for vaccinations, minor ailments and support with chronic illness.
Leger said the PC Health app leverages its in-house expertise in health, nutrition and wellness to help connect users with information, support and different health professionals.
The app provides access to registered nurses and dietitians as well as custom digital health programs that reward users with the company's PC Optimum points.
"We know that changing behaviour is not easy, especially in health care," Leger said. "We think that adding some incentives with PC Optimum can help make small nudges towards healthier behaviour."
He said the company's goal is for the app to be at the centre of an "omnichannel health care experience."