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Walmart buys tech from Carezone to help people manage their prescriptions

Walmart is acquiring technology and intellectual property from CareZone, a start-up that makes it easier for people to manage multiple medications, Walmart confirmed to CNBC on Monday.

CareZone, which got its start in 2010, develops apps to help people manage their medicines. It also built technology for users to scan insurance cards and prescription drug labels, making it easier to figure out what’s covered by their health plan or to organize a home delivery. The apps have about 3.5 million members, according to CareZone CEO Jonathan Schwartz.

Walmart will now take possession of these assets, and 25 to 30 engineering and product people are joining Walmart to help build out the company’s health and wellness products and services.

Walmart said it has acquired “specific assets” that include CareZone’s technology platform, patents and key intellectual property, which help patients better organize their prescription information.

“The goal of any technology startup is to build a product or experience that touches the lives of as many people as possible,” CareZone’s co-founder and chief technology officer Walter Smith said. “Adding our technology platform to Walmart’s existing digital capabilities and physical reach creates a unique opportunity to redefine what the future of digital health and wellness can look like. The CareZone team members joining Walmart are excited to bring our knowledge and apply it to such a broad canvas.”

In a blog post announcing the deal, Walmart said that a recent survey of U.S. customers found that cost is the top barrier to health care for 43% of Walmart shoppers, followed by convenience and access. So it is continuing to focus on initiatives that make it easier for people to access affordable health care services. Americans spend approximately $500 billion annually on prescription drugs.

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