Hot Concepts - OTC

Interactive Nasacort display informs and engages

With Chattem’s launch of Nasacort Allergy 24HR Nasal Spray, CVS/pharmacy had an interactive shelf display that gives a whole new meaning to the term “shelf talker.”

With the press of a button, CVS shoppers had the opportunity to watch a brief tutorial on what Nasacort was about and why they should consider Nasacort as their allergy remedy of choice.

“As customers engage with interactive digital screens, they are able to truly peek inside the retailer,” wrote Sara Thompson, contributing editor for “Interaction with digital signage creates an opportunity to have interaction with the brand and the store, which keeps that retailer top-of-mind for the customer.”

Nasacort Allergy 24HR is unique in that it is the first and only nasal corticosteroid to be available at full prescription strength without the need for a prescription. It relieves the full range of nasal allergy symptoms, including nasal congestion, by stopping more of the chemical responses that cause those symptoms.

Healthcare kiosks enable self-care

Healthcare kiosks in the retail setting all have one common denominator — they’re enablers. They enable the kind of self-care diagnostics — blood pressure, BMI and vision — that goes well beyond the traditional arm-cuff blood-pressure measuring station that had been a pharmacy waiting area staple.

These enabling health tools are being actively used by patients. According to SoloHealth, consumers use its more than 3,500 SoloHealth Stations almost 130,000 times per day. That amounts to 40 million consultations per year. SoloHealth, which is already being tested by Walmart, Sam’s Club, CVS, Publix and Schnuck Markets, expects to expand to an estimated 5,000 locations in 2014.   

PharmaSmart is rolling out a new kiosk in 2014, the 2000D, which includes a patented system for detecting atrial fibrillation — which could be a valuable tool for pharmacy-driven interventions and stroke prevention. The 2000D also provides a feature for uploading and integrating glucometer readings into a patient’s health profile, as well as a geomapping feature for patient data and the ability to generate coupons for sponsored health products.   

Walgreens showcases wireless, wearable health technology

A new merchandising display showcased within the Philadelphia Walgreens flagship store may serve as a first glimpse into the future of wireless wellness devices. Titled “Wireless ways to wellness,” the set features app-friendly, wireless fitness devices, such as FitBit or BodyMedia activity monitors, alongside iHealth blood-pressure monitors.

In sync with that new set, Walgreens last year introduced a significant boost to its Steps with Balance Rewards program, enabling users to link wireless activity trackers — such as FitBit, Withings and BodyMedia — to the wellness program. Loyalty cardholders who sync with one of these devices get two times the points associated with healthier behaviors — 20 points per mile and 20 points per day for tracking their weight. And each device linked earns 250 points.

Shipments of wearable health technology, including smart watches and glasses, is expected to approach 130 million by 2018, according to a recent review from Juniper Research — that’s 10 times higher than it is today. The growth can be attributed to heightened consumer awareness and new product launches.

CVS/pharmacy launches online resource about vitamins, supplements

CVS/pharmacy earlier this year launched its Family Vitamin Center, a new health hub on to help educate customers on the vitamins and supplements that can support their personal health goals.

The new resource is designed to help take the confusion out of the vitamin aisle, and features an interactive questionnaire and guidance tools that provide personalized supplement recommendations. It also allows users to shop by goal, such as heart health or immune support, and get the latest health tips. The questionnaire also covers nutrient depletions associated with several chronic prescription medications. At the end of it all, CVS recommends a short, personalized list of supplements. Users can purchase those supplements on the spot from, and are enticed to do so with a coupon offer.

Customers also can sign up for Ship & Save, an automatic replenishment program that offers a 20% savings on every vitamin or supplement purchased and free shipping.

Dr. Scholl's uses foot-mapping kiosks to guide shoppers to products

Merck Consumer Care’s Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit Orthotic Centers have been on the market in stores nationwide for a few years now, but the foot care kiosks are still eye-catching.

Merck is the leading seller of foot care devices, with sales of $369.9 million across total U.S. multi-outlets for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 29, up 2%, according to IRI. That slightly outpaces overall category growth of 1.4% in that period, contributing to total category sales of $677.6 million.

The kiosks combine foot measurement technology with consumer-friendly software to make it quick and easy for people to find the Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit Orthotic Inserts that are best for their feet. The orthotic, designed with special cushioning and support layers, offloads high-pressure areas with support and comfort in mind.

And it’s fun to try.

But it’s not just a gimmick. The foot-mapping technology found in Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit Orthotic Centers was evaluated in five clinical studies. It uses more than 2,000 pressure sensors to measure areas of the foot where the most pressure is applied, arch type and foot length.

The kiosks were initially introduced through Meijer, Kroger, CVS, Walmart and Walgreens in select markets.

GSK, Walgreens collaborate on online smoking-cessation program

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare and Walgreens teamed up to launch Sponsorship to Quit, a free online quit-smoking program that smokers can personalize with customized tools and tips during their journey to quit.   

There is, of course, an omnichannel play at work here. Persons interested in quitting fill out a brief questionnaire that determines the most appropriate nicotine replacement therapy for them, including strength and such forms as gum, lozenges and patches. At the end of the questionnaire, they have an opportunity to purchase that NRT right off of Walgreens’ e-commerce site.   

The program also infuses a little gamification into the mix. After completing an online consultation, a smoker can access tools that help track successes and slips, earn badges and celebrate milestones. Smokers can sign up to receive a free quit kit upon registration, a quit journal and an official quitter card, a physical reminder of smokers’ commitment to quit. There’s also a social media component. To help encourage a healthier lifestyle, Sponsorship to Quit asked participants to post their top reason for quitting smoking in 2014, using the hashtag #STQuit.

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