Reports: Finnish company develops payment system using facial recognition
NEW YORK — Pretty soon, retail clerks may be asking customers if they want to pay with cash, credit or face, according to published reports.
Popular Science reported that Finland-based Uniqul was creating a system that would take the customer’s photo and then process biometric data, connecting it to their account. Customers would create the accounts using their credit or debit cards, and Uniqul said the system — which uses military encryption technology — would reduce time for payments from 30 seconds to less than five seconds.
In other words, it’s sort of like the 2002 science fiction movie "Minority Report," only for real. A promotional video from Uniqul is below.
HPV vaccination rates among girls stalled in 2012, CDC says
ATLANTA — While rates of human papillomavirus infection among girls ages 14 years to 19 years have dropped by half since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started recommending routine vaccination against it seven years ago, rates of vaccination have not increased, the agency said.
According to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, HPV vaccination coverage for girls did not increase over last year. The survey included vaccination records of about 19,000 teenagers.
"We’re dropping the ball," CDC director Tom Frieden said in a conference call with reporters. "We’re missing opportunities to give HPV vaccines, and that needs to change to protect girls from cervical cancer."
Frieden said the agency was accustomed to seeing coverage increases of 10% per year when a new vaccine hits the market and expressed disappointment last year when the increase in HPV vaccination rates was 4%. "This year, it’s zero percentage points," Frieden said. "The HPV vaccine coverage hasn’t kept pace with other vaccines recommended for preteens and teens. One dose does not provide all of the protection that the HPV vaccine series has to offer, so we want all girls to get their second and third doses."
In 2011, 34.8% of teenage girls finished their three-dose series, but the data from 2012 indicate a 33.4% rate. Frieden said that if the vaccine were given every time a young person visited the doctor to get another one, the completion of the series would be at 93%, and even an 80% completion rate would prevent an estimated 53,000 cases of cervical cancer later in life for girls ages 12 years and younger today.
According to research, the single most influential factor in parents’ decisions whether to vaccinate are provider’s recommendations, but some parents have expressed concern that the vaccine may be seen as license or permission to have sex, even though multiple studies have indicated that preteens and teens who receive it don’t have sex any earlier than those who don’t.
"HPV vaccine does not open the door to sex; HPV vaccine closes the door to cancer," Frieden said.
In some cases, however, pharmacists have been able to step in to fill the vaccination void. Last month, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed into law a bill that allows pharmacists to administer a variety of vaccinations — including for HPV — under collaborative practice agreements with physicians.
AmerisourceBergen reports improved business for Good Neighbor pharmacies in coaching program
VALLEY FORGE, Pa. — Independent pharmacies enrolled in AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp.’s Good Neighbor Pharmacy Business Coaching program have experienced per-employee sales increases of 5% on average, the company said.
AmerisourceBergen announced the finding at ThoughtSpot 2013, an independent pharmacy trade show taking place in Las Vegas. The company said the pharmacies realized the results through store-hour adjustments and reallocation of labor costs for efficiency. Coached pharmacies also decreased inventory by increasing turns by 1.4 turns per year and decreased incidence of "usual and customary claims" by 61% year-over-year and were half as likely to override or discount a pricing formula, enabling them to provide consistent pricing to patients.
"Independent community pharmacies continue to be challenged to keep their doors open while struggling with reimbursements and suffering from declining profits," AmerisourceBergen SVP sales and marketing A.J. Caffentzis said. "Yet, as many top-performing pharmacies have proven, these challenges can be met head-on and conquered with the right tools and support. We are proud to support independent community pharmacies with programs like our Business Coaching solution."
The Business Coaching process starts with an evaluation and strengthening of the core components of a pharmacy’s business: profitability, inventory, financial management, third party and labor. Business coaches serve as advisers, working with each pharmacy to analyze the health of the entire business, pinpointing problem areas and offering recommendations.