HEALTH

Pfizer Consumer introduces Robitussin CoughCast, an online tracking tool capturing area cough activity

BY Michael Johnsen

MADISON, N.J. — Pfizer Consumer Healthcare on Wednesday introduced Robitussin CoughCast, a new interactive tool that allows people to track cough activity in their local area. 

According to the company, already this year nearly 18.2 million U.S. adults have experienced cold and flu symptoms, and more than 18 million have reported suffering from cough, making it one of the most highly reported symptoms.

On average, there are more than 1 billion cases of the common cold each year in the United States, and it is estimated that between 5% and 20% of the population will get the flu. Most adults are likely to have a common cold two to four times a year, and up to 50% of people suffering from a cold will have a cough.

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CDC, CHPA remind holiday travelers that medicines should be ‘Up and Away and Out of Sight’

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Educational Foundation, in partnership with the PROTECT Initiative, on Tuesday issued a reminder for Americans this holiday season about the importance of safe medicine storage at home and on-the-go, as part of the Up and Away and Out of Sight educational programs.

Annually, more than 60,000 young children age 5 or younger are treated in emergency departments for accidental ingestion of household medicines, according to Dan Budnitz, director of CDC’s Medication Safety Program. “Parents may not be aware of the danger posed by leaving medications where young children can reach or see them.”

As much as parents need to be careful during the busy holiday season, it is also important for grandparents to be particularly cautious about safe medicine storage. In a recent national survey by University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, nearly one out of every four grandparents said they store prescription medicines in easy-access places, including daily-dose boxes that children can easily open; 18% said they store over-the-counter medicines in easily accessible spots.

“Grandparents love when their grandchildren come to visit, but they may not realize their next dose of medicine left out on the counter could be a source of harm for their curious, young grandchild,” Budnitz said. “Whether traveling for the holidays, or hosting family members in the home, a few simple steps – followed every time – can keep children safe from harm.”

To learn more about safely storing medicines and vitamins at home and on-the-go, visit UpandAway.org or in Spanish at UpandAway.org/es.

 


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Number of customers engaging SoloHealth digital kiosks continues to climb

BY Michael Johnsen

AUSTIN, Texas — SoloHealth on Wednesday announced that its SoloHealth Station digital kiosk has seen consumer engagement rise more than 200% since late summer. To date, 5 million consumers have interacted with the kiosk, up from 2.5 million in late August. Additionally, daily consumer usage has increased three fold, going from 10,000 per day at the end of August to approximately 35,000 today.

“The data is revealing tremendous consumer engagement rates, clearly showing there is an interest and need for this type of self-service healthcare access in today’s environment," stated Bart Foster, SoloHealth CEO. "We are extremely bullish as we continue our nationwide rollout with retail partners and look forward to bringing this free service to more consumers across America, empowering them to take control of their healthcare."

Each consumer spends almost 5 minutes engaging the kiosk per session, with one of three taking multiple tests. Blood pressure and BMI are the two tests most often taken together. As many as 57% of users use the kiosk to measure blood pressure, making that the most popular test offered. Almost two thirds of all users are over the age of 55, slightly more men (55%) engage the kiosk than women (45%). As many as 71% of SoloHealth Station users are at medium to high risk of hypertension and 51% are overweight or obese. One in four are returning users. 

SoloHealth is currently expanding its reach nationwide with an initiative that will place the FDA-approved SoloHealth Station in more than 1,000 retail locations and all 50 states by end of 2012. Company executives estimate the kiosk will reach 4,000 locations by 2014. There are currently units in select retailers across America, including Walmart, Sam’s Club, Safeway, Publix, CVS and Schnuck’s Markets.

The SoloHealth Station is a healthcare access point for consumers providing screenings for vision, blood pressure, weight and body mass index, a symptom checker as well as an overall health assessment free of charge. SoloHealth also helps connect consumers to local professionals through their databases, helping people enter the most appropriate and accurate point in the health care system. 


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