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Clinic pioneer taps ‘vHealth’ for CareCam launch

BY Antoinette Alexander

CareCam Health Systems is looking to revolutionize chronic care management and improve health outcomes with its patient-driven software solution that goes above and beyond teleheath to leverage the power of behavioral science, mobile technology and video. Enter vHealth.

“It is a self-management tool for a patient to manage their care between visits with their primary care provider,” said CareCam Health’s CEO Hal Rosenbluth, who cofounded Take Care Health Systems, which was sold to Walgreens in 2007 and rebranded as Walgreens Healthcare Clinics in 2013.

Rosenbluth took the helm at CareCam in January 2013 and assembled a powerhouse executive team that includes several former Walgreens executives, according to former chief nurse practitioner Sandy Ryan, who serves as chief clinical officer for CareCam, overseeing all clinical aspects of the company.

With his executive team and technology in place, the company is looking to launch its platform on April 1 via a strategic collaboration with Independent Blue Cross Center for Health Care Innovation, which invested $2.4 million in the Conshohocken, Pa.-based start-up.

Developed with the help of a behavioral scientist, the platform offers patients a 24/7 mobile “partner in health” for those battling chronic illness. Key features include pre-populated and customizable care management plans with configurable alerts that trigger when important activities are missed, or when their health is trending in the wrong direction. The alerts also can be directed to caregivers and physicians. The platform also contains condition-specific educational content and integrates video in unique ways to improve member engagement and adherence. For example, patients can video record their self-care activities (e.g., diabetic foot exam, use of glucometers, etc.) to demonstrate compliance — almost like recording a “video selfie.”

Additional areas of opportunity include clinical trials with pharmaceutical companies, and hospital discharges and readmissions, Rosenbluth told DSN.

Furthermore, CareCam Health can facilitate a more effective transition of care from the hospital to a patient’s home. CareCam also gives case managers real-time visibility into discharged patients’ current health status and alerts them as to which patients need immediate intervention.

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Digital collaboration needed to sway CPG shoppers

BY Michael Johnsen

Influencing the shopper’s decision to buy at the point of selection represents a time-honored, traditional partnership opportunity between retailer and supplier. Shelf talkers, power wings, corrugated cardboard displays — these have all been used to great success in promoting sales at the shelf or in the aisle. But as more and more consumers walk those aisles with a smartphone or tablet in hand, or shop the store from the convenience of their desktop, digital collaboration between retailer and supplier may represent an extremely lucrative method to sway that in-store purchase on top of traditional POP.

Digital collaboration between retailers and consumer packaged goods companies help amplify sales by making the best use of shelf space and trade promotion funds, according to a recently released Accenture research study. CPG heads of sales surveyed by Forrester on behalf of Accenture cited several potential benefits, including increasing the chances of consumers trading up (87%), reducing the cost of reaching those consumers (84%) and boosting conversion ratio and marketbasket (77%).

Today, through digital collaboration, two-thirds of CPG companies can identify online the stores that normally stock their merchandise, and half can confirm current availability by store using digital channels, according to sales leaders.

And 50% of CPG heads of sales reported collaborating with retailers on targeted incentives for consumers buying in-store. That could include such initiatives as iBeacon technology, which engages consumers on their smartphones as they approach a particular display in-store. Menasha Packaging and Shelfbucks recently finalized an agreement to innovate and redefine in-store product merchandising in early 2015 with the launch of POP displays that incorporate iBeacon technology to actively engage with shoppers.

“The addition of Shelfbucks technology to POP displays instantly provides CPG manufacturers and retailers with access to millions of new data points for measuring the impact of merchandising on local, regional and national levels, as well as historically unavailable indicators for determining product performance,” said Will Phillips, director of retail insights and innovation for Menasha Packaging. “And because we can now provide near real-time performance data, brands and retailers can rapidly adjust in-store campaigns based on timely information on shopper behavior.”

The Accenture study found that digital technology also has the potential to help consumer brands pool actionable insights to increase consumer loyalty, share of wallet and the lifetime value of their products. However, a large majority (70%) of CPG heads of sales believe this potential may not be realized because there is a lack of consistent, shared consumer data to improve decision making. Six-in-10 of these respondents find it too difficult to deliver relevant and personalized content to engage consumers effectively through digital channels.

And just 16% of companies currently use digital technologies to maintain the in-store and online relationship with the consumer to drive repeat purchases in the store. Furthermore, only 38% of all survey respondents say their companies use digital channels to drive planogram compliance, and 30% say their companies use digital channels to drive perfect order and perfect delivery programs with retail partners.

“Although most CPG companies acknowledge that the primary value of analytics revolves around obtaining a better view of the shopper to optimize assortment, pricing and promotions, they continue to struggle with the quality and consistency of the data available,” said Koen Van Bockstaele, managing director, consumer goods and services, Accenture.

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Shelfbucks, Menasha partner on iBeacon tech platform

BY Antoinette Alexander

AUSTIN, Texas — Menasha Packaging has teamed up with Shelfbucks, an in-store beacon promotion and Smart Display platform, to transform how retailers and consumer packaged goods companies engage with customers via a beacon-based platform that brings the power of the Internet to shelves and displays.

The technology currently is being tested in GameStop stores with plans to continue a nationwide deployment into 2015. Its application, however, can elevate the in-store experience of any retailer — regardless of channel.

“When we think about Shelfbucks, we see it as a way for retailers — regardless of the channel — to create a unique one-to-one relationship with their shopper through the combination of applying existing technology, low intensity bluetooth, or BLE, (i.e., smart-phones — either Droid or IOS hand sets) and smart app writing that allows retailers and brands to deploy this technology quickly and cost effectively,” Paul Murphy, senior director of retail sales and new business development at Menasha Packaging Co., told DSN. “The Shelfbucks system requires virtually no cap ex on the part of retailers and is based on a shopper pull focus to more intimately engage shoppers in store on the shopper’s terms.”

Shelfbucks uses Beacon devices, installed on retailers’ store shelves, to provide an enhanced shopping experience for customers. A shopper browsing a product area interacts with Shelfbucks Beacons using a smartphone, and can immediately access expert content, promotional offers, ratings and reviews, and relevant data on nearby products. Shelfbucks helps eliminate the need for additional online research and showrooming, while saving shoppers time and delivering an improved shopping experience.

The new Menasha displays incorporate the Shelfbucks iBeacon-based Smart Display platform into brand POP merchandising to provide an enhanced experience for shoppers, while enabling brands and retailers to measure in-store shopper behavior. The new displays enable brands to determine how in-store POP displays perform compared with the brand’s goals, providing the opportunity to adjust in-store promotions with unprecedented speed and accuracy.

“The Menasha partnership with Shelf-bucks will deliver the industry’s first Smart Displays. Smart Displays will change the game for brands and retailers who want to really understand their consumer and shopper, and help drive higher sales rates at the most important point on the path to purchase in store. The approach will allow brands and retailers to deliver a cost effective way to take shoppers from today’s 2-D display world into tomorrow’s 3-D interactive world,” Murphy said. “The Menasha-Shelfbucks Smart Display will allow shoppers to access product information, ratings and reviews, consumer offers and give retailers and brands insights into their customers they have never had before.”

When asked about Shelfbucks’ early learnings, Erik McMillan, CEO of Shelfbucks, said that preliminary feedback from customers has been extremely positive, and he pointed to last year’s rollout of the iBeacon promotion platform in Austin’s Tarrytown Pharmacy, one of 3,500 stores in the Health Mart national pharmacy chain, as an example of how it could work in a drug store environment.

Shoppers browsing the pharmacy can interact with Shelfbucks using their iPhone or Android smartphones and instantly receive real-time offers and coupons on nearby products via the retailer’s app. Shoppers can then immediately redeem their special offers at the cashier, thus eliminating the need for clipping coupons, online research or showrooming, while saving time and enjoying a superior shopping experience.

“In these early days of the in-store digital revolution, real-world testing and rapid learning are allowing Tarrytown Pharmacy to determine which initiatives deliver true business value,” said McMillan. “At Shelf- bucks, we believe that there is no substitute for live, business-focused trials that measure shopper acceptance and retail value generation on a small scale. Thus far, Shelfbucks has generated more than 10,000 impressions for brands with a redemption rate in the 35%-to-40% range.

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