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

BY Michael Johnsen

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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Kellogg looks to new adult breakfast offerings to boost segment sales

BY Alaric DeArment

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Cereal maker Kellogg Co. is hoping to appeal to adult customers with new breakfast food lines, the company said in announcing its first quarter 2013 earnings.

In a conference call with financial analysts, CEO John Bryant said the company plans to launch Raisin Bran with omega-3, multi-grain Special K and new additions to the Kashi brand later this year, citing lagging sales in the adult-products segment compared with products aimed at children.

Bryant also touted products designed to offer the nutritional value of cereal, but in more convenient forms, such as the Breakfast To Go shakes. "[When] you think about the weakness in the cereal category, we’re also doing things to give people the benefits of cereal outside that normal definition of ready-to-eat cereal," Bryant said during the call.

The company posted sales of $3.9 billion for the quarter, which marked a 12.2% increase over first quarter 2012. Profits were $311 million, a 13% decrease from last year. The company said it would meet its fiscal year 2013 guidance.

Sales for the North America segment were $2.6 billion, an 8.1% increase over first quarter 2012, including 1.6% sales growth for the breakfast foods segment in the United States and a 1.7% decline for the U.S. snacks segment, with the "North America Other" segment — which includes U.S. frozen foods and the company’s Canadian business — showing 7.4% sales growth.

"Results in the first quarter were broadly as we expected, and we’re pleased to have a solid start to the year," Bryant said in a statement. "We saw good comparable revenue growth in many regions around the world, and the Pringles business continued to post strong results."

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Arizona launches three new Rickeys beverage flavors

BY Jason Owen

WOODBURY, N.Y. — Arizona Beverages is adding three new Rickeys flavors, a beverage that combines a balance of sweet fruit and tart lime inspired by the Brooklyn original soda fountain novelty, the company announced this week.

The three new Rickeys flavors include: Mango Lime, Grape Lime and Lemon Lime Rickey. These flavors join Cherry Lime, an immensely popular drink, according to the company.

The new drinks contain 10% juice and only 70 calories per serving.

The line is easily identifiable on shelves with Cherry Lime Rickeys 20th Anniversary Design, created by contest winner Kenny Vidinich. The Lime Rickeys will be available nationwide with a suggested retail price of $.99 – $1.25 per 23-ounce can.


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