Retailers eye kiosks’ refined patient experience

SoloHealth’s EyeSite kiosks, located in healthcare retailing outlets, interactively guide users through a health-and-wellness video questionnaire, then provide actionable suggestions as part of a one-page printout.

NEW YORK —Two new kiosk concepts are being brought to market this summer: SoloHealth’s EyeSite kiosks and Hamacher Resource Group’s HealthPicks—both of which are designed to improve the patient experience in retail health settings. “It’s a health-and-wellness benefit for shoppers—a competitive differentiator,” said Bart Foster, SoloHealth founder and CEO. “We’ve also seen many retailers that we’re in [having] a significant increase—double-digit growth—in relative categories.”

That explains a little of the excitement around Atlanta-based Solo-Health, a spin off of CIBA Vision, the eye care unit of Novartis, which is looking to expand its vision care kiosks that are currently available across almost 100 outlets in seven markets to soon include other health screening protocols. “We’re going to take everything we’ve done with EyeSite, and we’re going to add blood pressure, body mass index and a basic health-risk assessment that will essentially empower the consumer to learn more about themselves,” Foster told Drug Store News.

Unlike the typical blood-pressure monitor located just outside of the pharmacy, SoloHealth’s kiosk is interactive, guiding users through a health-and-wellness video questionnaire and providing actionable suggestions as part of a one-page printout at the end. “We’ve recorded hundreds of different outcomes depending upon who you are,” Foster said. “So if we know [the patient] is African-American and over 40, we can say, ‘Did you realize that because of your ethnicity and your age, you’re actually more likely to have glaucoma?’”

The original EyeSite kiosks provided contact information for nearby optometrists; the new systems can funnel new patients into adjacent retail clinics or nearby primary care practices, Foster suggested. It could become a feeder system, he said, referring patients patronizing a lower-volume pharmacy to the retail clinic housed in a higher-volume location, for example.

Hamacher Resource Group’s HealthPicks is a kiosk that serves as both a solution-driven, product-recommendation kiosk and a coupon generator offering discounts across items that consumers already have self-selected as merchandise they intend to buy that day.

It’s certainly more than just an informational kiosk defining products within the store, Dave Wendland, Hamacher VP, told Drug Store News. “We wanted to make this a very transactional interaction,” he said, that helps shoppers narrow selection by 1-of-3 filters: pharmacist recommendations, savings/rewards and items ranked by purchase frequency.

Most interesting, however, is the opportunity to market that cost savings, Wendland noted. Coupling a cost-savings with an item being researched by the consumer in the actual retail box greatly influences intent to purchase on that day, he said. Hamacher to date has tested the kiosk across five categories: pain relief, digestive health, cough-cold-allergy, eye and ear care, and oral care. “Within oral care over the past six months, 23% of the unit sales sold within that category were accompanied with a HealthPicks coupon,” Wendland said. “So in 1-in-5 purchases in that category during our test, the people who were purchasing that item used a coupon,” he said.

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