Expansion of in-store health kiosks setting stage for pharmacy web of improved-outcome solutions

Kinney Drugs, with its almost-100 locations located primarily in upstate New York, is the latest pharmacy to capitalize on the robust offerings available through in-store health kiosks. Because it isn't only about taking that random blood pressure check anymore. 

No, the in-store health kiosks going into stores today are designed to augment outcomes-based health care. For example, through the use of "smart cards," PharmaSmart helps track historical health metrics across its trademarked Blood Pressure Tracker web portal. 

And the offerings available through these kiosks are scalable. Blood pressure readings and body composition today. Tomorrow? These kiosks can be the enabler that switches more prescriptions to over-the-counter status by creating an on-screen decision-tree questionnaire that will help consumers choose their self-care therapies appropriately. 

And it's a tool that can prompt patient-pharmacist interactions. For example, a patient with high-blood pressure sits down and takes a high reading. The kiosk pings the pharmacist refilling their blood-pressure reduction medicines and prompts the pharmacist to intervene. 

That is the kind of utility that will improve outcomes. If the patient isn't taking the medicine properly, it's an opportunity to improve adherence. And if the medicine isn't doing its job, it's an opportunity to redirect that patient back to the doctor a lot sooner than their next regular check-up.

In either scenario, conceivably there would be fewer hospitalizations. 

Also this week, Stayhealthy announced the selection of BroadSign International as the company's digital signage software provider. The deal enables Stayhealthy’s kiosks to connect with Class II medical devices and digital activity monitors united by a secure, HIPAA-compliant online portal that is available in more than 3,000 professional, medical offices involved in wellness and weight loss programs, according to Stayhealthy. It's another example of how in-store health kiosk suppliers are enabling real-time patient interventions.

And SoloHealth recently connected with the likes of the William J. Clinton Foundation's 2013 Clinton Health Matters Initiative, along with such other companies as General Electric, Humana and Tenet Healthcare, as part of an effort to build and distribute a tobacco-cessation education module across its SoloHealth Station kiosks. Smoking cessation represents another opportunity to improve health outcomes.

The bottom line — in-store health kiosks are tools readily accessible to consumers that help cement that virtual link between pharmacist, patient and physician. They are tools that help quantify patient exception reports, in course identifying patient interception opportunities. 

And they will soon be in a pharmacy near you. 

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