Changing Channels: Dry-All smart-phone drying kit, ThinkEco modlet, BodyFit Yoga mat and more
Dry-All smart phone drying kit
LAS VEGAS — In general, electronic devices and water don’t mix, and smart phones are no exception. One bit of water is enough to lose important contacts, files and apps. Dry-All recently unveiled a kit at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that allows users to dry a wet phone in as little as six hours using a special “blue bead” technology originally developed to protect sensitive military equipment from moisture. The suggested retail price is $59.99.
Contact: (888) 379-2551, Dry-All.com
NEW YORK — Much of the focus on alternative energy and clean technology in recent years has focused on such big-ticket items as windmills, solar panels and high-speed trains. But now consumers can save energy in their own homes with the ThinkEco “modlet,” short for “modern outlet.” The outlet saves energy by cutting power to plugged-in devices when they’re not needed and turning them back on based on historical usage patterns. A wireless connection and Web-based interface allow users to monitor and regulate their power usage. The suggested retail price is $50.
BodyFit Yoga mats
FAIRFIELD, N.J. — Venture Products supplies a line of yoga mats designed to provide stable and nonslip support for yoga, while also protecting against the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew. The mats, which are available in a number of colors with silk-screened designs, use a technology called Microban to prevent growth of microbes, which can cause odors and stains to develop. The suggested retail price is $14.99 for the 3-mm. mats, and $19.99 for the 6-mm. mats.
Contact: [email protected], Venture-Products.com
Bruttles soft peanut butter brittle
SPOKANE, Wash. — Bruttles Gourmet Candy Co. is taking its 60-year-old recipe for soft peanut butter brittle nationwide. Owner Carol Measel inherited the recipe from her aunt, and each batch is still hand-pulled on the marble slab she purchased from the Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Wash. Other candies include peanut brittle, cashew brittle, caramels, caramallows, bark and butter toffee. The peanut butter brittle comes in packages of 8 oz. to 2 lbs., ranging in price from $6.50 to $22.95.
Contact: Carol Measel, (888) 4-Bruttles, Bruttles.com
SilverSport fitness products
PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers player and Hall of Famer Franco Harris and business partner Thomas Davis have launched a line of fitness products designed to fight odor-causing bacteria. The SilverSport line of products includes a sports towel, workout mat, roller-shaper and prenatal workout kit. The line is made with Terra Silver technology, which uses tiny silver particles to eliminate more than 650 types of surface-borne, odor-causing bacteria. The products range in price from $19.99 to $34.99 for the towel, $39.99 for the roller-shaper and $49.99 for the mat and prenatal workout kit.
Contact: [email protected], SilverSport.com
DSN takes lead from ‘King of All Media’
It appears that even the “King of All Media” Howard Stern gets his news from Drug Store News. Traffic on the site spiked in late December when a DrugStoreNews.com story made it into Stern sidekick Robin Quivers’ daily news broadcast during the Thursday, Dec. 16 show. The Stern Web page also linked to the story under the “It’s Time for Robin’s News” section in the rundown for the satellite radio program’s show (“Use lanolin on your cracked nipples” at HowardStern.com/Rundown.hs).
The DSN article, “Study: Lansinoh HPA Lanolin may reduce nipple pain among breast-feeding mothers,” focused on a recent study that found that women who breast-feed experienced a significant reduction in nipple pain and higher healing rates of nipple trauma when they used a topical application of Lansinoh’s HPA Lanolin.
Thousands of Stern fans, in addition to regular DSN Group online users, logged on to DrugStoreNews.com to learn more about Lansinoh’s study. As of press time, the story remained the No. 1 story on DrugStoreNews.com.
The whole event speaks volumes to the reach of The Drug Store News Group and its power to extend a message to a wider group of potential influencers. This is just another example of DSN’s ability to help you grow your brand.
OK — so, obviously, Howard Stern is not a Drug Store News subscriber. Neither is Robin Quivers. I checked — neither of them gets the magazine. I know that the Howard Stern- Lansinoh story is a bit of an anomaly. But not really — not if you know anything about search engine optimization and how information is disseminated online. And if you know anything at all about Howard Stern, it should come as no surprise that Quivers uses such key words as “nipple” and “breasts” in her various news-alert profiles — that’s half the show right there.
How do we know it made a difference for Lansinoh? Because Lansinoh told us so. The company’s phones and the website were jamming in the days leading into the New Year.
It reminds me of another story about Lansinoh and Drug Store News. About five years ago, senior editor Michael Johnsen wrote a story for his OTC page about the growth in the natural feeding category, and one company that pretty much owned the business — Lansinoh. As the story goes, the CEO of one of the biggest chains in the industry ripped that page out of the issue, circled the article and sent it to the category manager responsible for that business with a handwritten note: “What are we doing to make this a destination at [our chain]?”
Howard Stern had nothing to do with that. We had almost 90,000 visits at DrugStoreNews.com in the month of January. I guess that means for this industry, DSN is the King of All Media.
Zipnosis: Giant leap forward for retail health
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Convenient care industry pioneer Kevin Smith took a leap more than 10 years ago and helped create the successful nurse practitioner-staffed retail clinic concept. Today, the industry trailblazer is embarking on a new venture to further revolutionize access to health care. Enter Zipnosis.com.
“In a sense, it is doing triage. It’s almost functioning like an online advice source, and then it can also function as treatment, when it’s appropriate,” said Smith, who co-founded QuickMedx — now MinuteClinic. Prior to his current role as chief clinical officer of Zipnosis, Smith served as director of clinical informatics at MinuteClinic.
With patients increasingly turning to the Internet for medical information and the nation battling a physician shortage, Zipnosis — coupled with the evolving retail-based health clinics — may be the ideal prescription to help ease the overburdened U.S. healthcare system and move one step closer to consumer-oriented health care.
Furthermore, healthcare systems increasingly are looking for ways to respond to patients via e-communication, yet often lack effective tools. That’s a unique niche that Smith believes Zipnosis is ideally equipped to fill. In fact, Zipnosis teamed up in May 2010 with healthcare provider Park Nicollet Health Services in Minnesota and is looking to expand via partnerships with other health providers.
Zipnosis — which had about 1,800 patient visits since its May launch — is hoping to expand to 10 additional states by the end of 2011.
“As we move into accountable care organizations and the future of how healthcare reform is shaping up, I think more and more of these options will tease themselves out, and there will be opportunities for new ideas like this that fit into a [healthcare] system that really needs to be re-engineered,” noted Tine Hansen-Turton, executive director of the Convenient Care Association.
Unlike other telemedicine service providers, the Zipnosis interview process is asynchronous, meaning it is driven by a mediated form of communication in which the sender and receiver are not concurrently engaged in communication. How it works: The patient logs on to the Zipnosis site, answers a set of questions that mimic those that a healthcare provider would ask the patient and, based on the responses, goes to the next appropriate question. Once the patient completes the evaluation, a healthcare professional — a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant — receives a text message, and the patient receives a response within an hour with a recommendation.
Depending on the condition and the patient’s interview, there are three different outcomes:
The condition is determined to not be urgent and does not require a prescription, so a self-care recommendation is provided to the patient with detailed instructions on suggested OTCs, when to follow up with a physician and warning signs to look for;
If the patient meets the criteria for safe, appropriate online care, then he or she receives a recommendation from a clinician and, if necessary, a prescription is sent electronically to a pharmacy of the patient’s choice; or
The patient receives a referral — either automated or from a clinician — to visit a physician for further care. If the interview suggests a serious condition, the system immediately will notify the patient to visit a physician or urgent care facility, and he or she will not be charged a fee for using Zipnosis.
Like the early days of retail-based health clinics, the services offered by Zipnosis are limited to such minor, acute ailments as sinus infections, sore throats and bladder infections, as well as such conditions as acne and smoking cessation. Each “visit” is a flat fee of $25 paid via credit card or HSA/Health Savings Card. Patients can answer the set of questions anywhere, anytime using a computer, mobile phone or iPad. The same goes for healthcare professionals.
Smith, who has more than 25 years of healthcare experience, undoubtedly understands the importance of “appropriate” treatment, and stressed that Zipnosis uses evidence-based guidelines to ensure that treatment is safe and appropriate for online care. Patients can access their Zipnosis health record at any time and are encouraged to share it with their primary care provider.
With financial backing from private investors and a venture capital group, and a second round of funding in the works for second quarter 2011, Zipnosis clearly is on a growth path. “We are looking for additional provider partners [in other states], and we have had some physicians contact us and want to jump on board,” Smith said. “We really feel that for our provider partners there is an upside for using their marginal capacity to see more patients and to even conceivably draw patients to their practice.”