HealthyPharmacies.org seeks to design, build wellness centers in pharmacies
SAN FRANCISCO HealthyPharmacies.org announced Thursday a series of store-of-the-future-type pilot programs that will be showcased here beginning this summer. The new nonprofit is working to design and build turnkey wellness centers in retail pharmacy locations.
Each center will include an educational component with both live and DVD-based classes, as well as healthcare professionals on hand to offer advice and guidance and to supervise educational events. The centers will be staffed by a variety of healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, qualified graduate school students, advice nurses, aestheticians, nutritionists and herbalists. Most of the wellness centers will also feature a variety of high margin natural products including supplements, body care products, beauty products and foods as well as health related books.
“We are building on the widespread popularity in the San Francisco area for Elephant Pharmacy, which was essentially a store-of-the-future pilot program,” stated Stuart Skorman, founder of that Elephant Pharmacy as well as HealthyPharmacies.org. “A variety of organizations including academic institutions, local governments and healthcare nonprofits will be helping to both design and operate the different pilot programs. [And] one city government is considering allowing 24-hour drive-thru windows as an incentive for chains to participate.”
HealthyPharmacies.org’s turnkey solution for in-store wellness centers is based on concepts first developed at Elephant Pharmacy. The company will also help facilitate other ideas that local institutions or the chains themselves initiate.
HealthyPharmacies.org’s focus is to help pharmacies foster wellness through healthy messaging. Also announced Thursday — the nonprofit will host 23 wellness messages that are designed to fit on in-store signs on its Web site. New messages from healthcare practitioners and nonprofit organizations will be added every month.
Study: Some African-American diabetics at risk of developing retinal disease
NEW YORK African-American diabetics who consume large amounts of calories and sodium risk developing more severe retinal disease than those who don’t, according to a study published in the January issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.
Researchers at the New York University College of Dentistry and the New Jersey Medical School at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey examined 469 African-American patients with Type 1 diabetes who enrolled in the study between 1993 and 1998, administering eye exams, blood tests and a diet questionnaire after a six-year follow-up.
Those with the highest caloric intake at the beginning of the study were more likely to develop retinopathy leading to vision loss by the end of the six-year period, while those with high sodium intake had the highest risk of developing macular edema.
“In African American patients with Type 1 diabetes, high caloric and sodium intakes are significant and independent risk factors for progression to severe forms of diabetic retinopathy,” the authors wrote. “These results suggest that low caloric and sodium intakes in African American individuals with Type 1 diabetes mellitus may have a beneficial effect on the progression of diabetic retinopathy and thus might be part of dietary recommendations for this population.”
Google.org to expand Google Flu Trends tracking
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. Google.org on Tuesday announced on its blog site that it is expanding its Google Flu Trends tracking capabilities from the macro to the micro.
“We’ve been chatting with public health officials about new ways we can help people understand the spread of flu during this unusual time and today we’re excited to bring city level flu estimates to 121 cities in the United States,” the company wrote in its blog.
The city level estimates are “experimental,” the company cautioned, meaning they haven’t been validated against official data. However, the estimates are made in a similar manner to its U.S. national estimates, which have been validated.
In contrast to the unusually early spike of flu activity this October, Google Flu Trends is currently showing a low level of activity in the United States.
Google Flu Trends helps estimate flu trends in real time by tracking the popularity of certain Google search queries.