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HealthSpot to showcase telehealth technology at CES on the Hill event

BY Antoinette Alexander

DUBLIN, Ohio — HealthSpot, a provider of telehealth technology, has been asked to present at the Consumer Electronics Association 2013 CES on the Hill, the company has announced.

The invite-only event, which takes place on April 16 at the Rayburn House Office Building Cafeteria (B-357), provides policymakers the opportunity to interact with technology companies that are driving policy change. HealthSpot is the only healthcare-focused technology company selected to participate, and will be exhibiting alongside consumer electronics stalwarts including Google, Microsoft and Intel, the company stated.
 
HealthSpot was selected by the CEA to present its HealthSpot Station, a private, walk-in kiosk with integrated medical devices that provides an audio and video solution that brings patients a face-to-face experience with a board certified doctor who is miles away. The HealthSpot Station enables patients’ immediate access to care via high-definition videoconferencing and interactive, digital telehealth tools.
 
"HealthSpot has developed technology to produce the highest quality, lowest cost healthcare appointment on the market today. We’re currently working with policymakers and payers in the ecosystem to get telehealth visits reimbursed the same way as a regular office visit," stated Steve Cashman, CEO of HealthSpot. "We are honored to be invited to CES on the Hill to engage in telehealth policy conversations with decision makers. Ultimately, to keep costs from skyrocketing in America, we need to work with payers and policymakers to address the challenges that keep people from gaining access to affordable care." 
 
In HealthSpot’s home state of Ohio, the State Medical Board revisited and updated their interpretation of electronic prescription guidelines. Doctors in Ohio may now e-prescribe medication to new telemedicine patients when using appropriate diagnostic medical equipment to transmit real-time vital signs and data.
 

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Consumers expect consistency between various shopping channels, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — If any proof was needed of the importance of omnichannel, it can be seen in a new survey of U.S. consumers.

The survey, by management consulting company Accenture, polled 750 consumers and analyzed how top retailers operate across multiple sales channels. Forty-nine percent of respondents said the best thing retailers could do to improve the shopping experience was better integrate in-store, online and mobile channels, while 89% said it was important for retailers to let them pick what they considered the most convenient means of shopping, regardless of sales channel.

Despite the growth of e-commerce, 94% of survey participants said they found in-store shopping easy, compared with 74% who said the same about online shopping and only 26% who said so about mobile phone shopping.

Consumers also place high importance on consistency, with 73% expecting a retailer’s online pricing to be the same as in-store pricing, and 61% expecting a retailer’s online and in-store promotions to be the same, but while 73% of retailers offer identical promotions online and in the store, only 16% offer the same prices online as in the store, and 19% offer the same product assortment.

"Seamlessness is a tall order for most traditional retailers," Accenture retail practice global managing director Chris Donnelly said. "In many cases, we have found a significant gap between consumer expectations and reality, but we believe seamlessness is achievable. Traditional retailers must take stock of their operational capabilities. They require a presence at every stage of the customer journey to deliver a consistently personalized, on-brand experience from discovery through research, purchase, fulfillment and beyond to product maintenance or returns."

The study, Accenture Seamless Retail Study, also looked at "showrooming" — the phenomenon of consumers looking in stores for products and then buying them online — and webrooming, which means browsing online and then buying in-store. Seventy-three percent of respondents reported showrooming in the six months before Accenture’s survey, while 88% said they participated in webrooming. Of the consumers who had showroomed, 41% reported that they had done it more than the year before, while 43% said they planned to shop more online and 23% planned to shop more with their mobile phones. Eighty-two percent of consumers reported that access to current product availability was important, but only 21% of retailers offered such information.

"Stores remain a crucial asset by which traditional players can differentiate themselves from the online pure-play retailers," Donnelly said. "They can serve as a showcase for desirable brands and places where customers can enjoy an experience and social interactions."

Other findings included 81% who said it’s important for a retailer to allow them to pick up or arrange for delivery of an item regardless of how it was paid for; 25% said they would be willing to wait a week for free shipping; 24% said it was important for retailers to offer same-day delivery, and 30% said they would be willing to pay extra for it; 56% of retailers offered a range of different fulfillment capabilities, but 26% had same-day delivery; 39% of consumers said they would wait until the morning for the store to open if they wanted an item outside of the store’s normal business hours, while 36% said they would buy it online from the same retailer, and 22% said they would buy it somewhere else online; 49% said they were influenced by in-store offers, compared with 56% influenced by email coupons and 56% who said they were influenced by coupons sent through the mail; 69% said online pop-up ads would never influence their purchasing, while 62% said the same of mobile banner ads.

 

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Nielsen announces Consumer 360 conference

BY Jason Owen

PHOENIX — Nielsen has announced a new Consumer 360 conference to be held in Phoenix from June 3 to 5.

The annual signature event is held around the world and attracts senior executives from CPG manufacturers and retailers, advertising agencies, and media companies.

During and after the event, there will be Thought Leadership decks and reports with media.

The Nielsen Consumer 360 conference will be held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Sap in Phoenix, Ariz., from June 3-5, 2013. Space is limited. For more information, visit the webpage here.

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