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Georgia Tech creates network of baby boomers for in-home healthcare product testing

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — The Georgia Institute of Technology on Tuesday announced the launch of HomeLab, a statewide network of adults 50 years of age and older recruited to evaluate the in-home usability and effectiveness of consumer products designed for the aging adult population.

HomeLab currently consists of 100 homes distributed throughout the state of Georgia; the network is expected to grow to 150 homes later this year and 550 homes by 2014.

Acccording to Georgia Tech, the HomeLab infrastructure lessens the burden for companies that need to find participants 50 years of age and older for extended in-home product testing. Because Georgia Tech collects detailed information about each HomeLab participant’s health and home up front, individuals can be rapidly recruited for targeted short- and long-term product testing.

“HomeLab provides an efficient means for companies to limit the cost of extensive user testing that is required to bring a product to market,” stated Brad Fain, director of HomeLab and a principal research scientist in the Georgia Tech Research Institute. “Evaluation of a pre-market or mature technology by Georgia Tech’s HomeLab will provide a company with documented evidence for marketing, regulatory compliance and product design.”

Georgia Tech currently serves as the independent product testing organization for the U.S. Arthritis Foundation, the Arthritis Society of Canada and Arthritis Australia. With the launch of HomeLab, GTRI will expand its product testing program to include extended in-home product evaluations, which will range from one month to one year in duration and involve 25 to 125 participants who are compensated for their time. HomeLab will provide companies with product design support, early product testing, and formal usability and effectiveness evaluations.

 


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Nordic Naturals targets vegetarians with new omega-3 supplement

BY Michael Johnsen

WATSONVILLE, Calif. — Nordic Naturals on Tuesday introduced Algae Omega, a solution for vegetarians seeking the health benefits of marine omega-3s. Made from sustainably sourced microalgae and available in both soft gels and liquid, the product offers an algae-based source of beneficial marine omega-3 essential fatty acids without the use of fish.

"We formulated Algae Omega with vegetarians in mind, and for anyone wanting a readily available, high-quality source of EPA and DHA from a non-fish source," stated Joar Opheim, CEO of Nordic Naturals.

To celebrate the launch of its new product, Nordic Naturals will give away free bottles of Algae Omega during the month of July. Giveaway dates will be announced on the company’s Facebook site.

 


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Meijer launches summertime fuel savings program

BY Allison Cerra

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Meijer is helping its customers save money on gas this summer, the retailer said.

The new discount program, which was made available to Meijer credit customers and runs Sept. 3, provides customers with a 10-cent-per-gallon discount on fuel at all Meijer gas stations, with no minimum fuel purchase required. Customers who don’t already have a Meijer credit card can apply at any Meijer store, online at Meijer.com/creditcard or via QR link with their smartphone.

"Meijer is always looking for ways to save our customers money," Meijer co-chairman Hank Meijer said. "Gasoline prices have a major impact on family budgets, so we are pleased to be able to offer these savings to all Meijer credit card holders in time for their summer travels."

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