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iHealth Lab adds new products and partners to mobile personal healthcare offering

BY Jason Owen

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — iHealth Lab Inc., today announced the release of two new fitness products to its existing lineup of wireless blood-pressure monitors and scales: the Wireless Pulse Oximeter and the Wireless Activity and Sleep Tracker. The company also announced new partnerships with two health and fitness communities, MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper.

"We’re excited on all fronts," said Adam Lin, president of iHealth Lab. "Our new products give people more ways to monitor their stats and achieve their goals of healthier living. And our new partners are a perfect fit for us. Both MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper have built strong online and mobile communities, empowering people to take greater control of their personal health. We can’t wait to introduce iHealth products to these passionate people."

The new iHealth Wireless Pulse Oximeter is recommended for sports and recreational use and measures two important stats: It records oxygen levels in the blood (SpO2), which muscles need when exercising. The device also measures pulse rate (bpm). Both measurements are taken non-invasively at the fingertip and display on an easy-to-read LED screen. Results also sync automatically to the "iHealth SpO2" iTunes app on iOS devices.

And the new iHealth Wireless Activity and Sleep Tracker (the iHealth Tracker) measures daily activities, including sleep. Designed to help users keep motivated toward an active and healthy lifestyle, the iHealth Tracker records steps taken, distance traveled, and calories burned. It also tracks hours slept and sleep efficiency. The iHealth Tracker features vibrating silent alarms for sleep and activity, and comes with interchangeable wristbands and waist clips available in two colors. All data syncs automatically to the "iHealth MyVitals" app.

The iHealth Wireless Pulse Oximeter (SRP $69.99) and Wireless Activity and Sleep Tracker (SRP $59.99) are available for purchase at www.ihealthlabs.com and national retailers.

The iHealth Tracker is supported by the "iHealth MyVitals" app and the iHealth Pulse Oximeter is supported by the "iHealth SpO2" app. The two apps are available at no cost from the iTunes App Store.

iHealth Lab’s partnership with MyFitnessPal will allow users an easier and more convenient way to track weight. MyFitnessPal is the leading free resource for nutrition and fitness tracking. With a food database of over 3 million foods and convenient fast food and exercise entry, MyFitnessPal will help users achieve their fitness goals. By connecting the two apps, users can automatically transfer weight and body fat percentage to their MyFitnessPal account.

iHealth’s second new partnership is with RunKeeper. RunKeeper is a fitness technology company that packs the benefits of a personal trainer into the convenience of a smart phone. As one of the first apps to launch in the iTunes store in 2008, RunKeeper has millions of users today, who can now use iHealth devices to measure their weight and BMI, blood pressure plus their pulse rate with the ability have the data sent straight to their RunKeeper account.


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Seniors express satisfaction with preferred pharmacy networks in PCMA-commissioned survey

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — A recent survey commissioned on behalf of a pharmacy benefit manager trade group found a high degree of satisfaction among Medicare Part D beneficiaries with preferred pharmacy plans.

The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association announced results of the survey, conducted by Hart Research Associates, which found that 85% of seniors were satisfied with their plans and 80% would be disappointed if the plan were eliminated. Meanwhile, 81% expressed satisfaction with the convenience of pharmacies in their network, and nearly three-quarters were satisfied with the number of pharmacies. The survey, conducted earlier this month, included 400 Medicare Part D beneficiaries, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9%.

But the National Community Pharmacists Association, a trade group representing independent pharmacies, noted that the plans often exclude their members. Last week, more than a dozen senators wrote a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services director Marilyn Tavenner expressing concern about the exclusion of small and medium-sized pharmacies from preferred pharmacy networks and calling for more oversight over them. Exclusion from the networks meant that the pharmacies were unable to offer comparable costs for seniors to fill prescriptions, creating a risk of higher Medicare Part D costs in addition to diminished access for seniors in rural areas. In addition, 31 members of the House of Representatives wrote to CMS about similar concerns that Medicare beneficiaries and small business owners had expressed.

According to the NCPA, preferred networks become particularly problematic in rural areas, were seniors may have to travel 20 miles or more to get to pharmacies included in the networks.

 

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Mass and drug channels are top locations for beauty and hygiene

BY Michael Johnsen

The purchase of personal products is most often made at locations of convenience and health destinations — mass merchandisers and drug stores — according to an online survey of almost 700 AccentHealth viewers conducted in April. Showing signs for further growth, 69% of respondents indicated they would make a personal product purchase at a drug store in the future.

To see more Patient Views, click here

Patient Views is a new, exclusive consumer insights feature that appears in every edition of DSN magazine, as well as the daily e-newsletter DSN A.M. If you could ask 6,000 patients anything at all, what would it be? Send your questions to [email protected].

 

Source: AccentHealth. To view the demographic breakdown of participants, click here.

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