Retailers eye kiosks’ refined patient experience
NEW YORK —Two new kiosk concepts are being brought to market this summer: SoloHealth’s EyeSite kiosks and Hamacher Resource Group’s HealthPicks—both of which are designed to improve the patient experience in retail health settings. “It’s a health-and-wellness benefit for shoppers—a competitive differentiator,” said Bart Foster, SoloHealth founder and CEO. “We’ve also seen many retailers that we’re in [having] a significant increase—double-digit growth—in relative categories.”
That explains a little of the excitement around Atlanta-based Solo-Health, a spin off of CIBA Vision, the eye care unit of Novartis, which is looking to expand its vision care kiosks that are currently available across almost 100 outlets in seven markets to soon include other health screening protocols. “We’re going to take everything we’ve done with EyeSite, and we’re going to add blood pressure, body mass index and a basic health-risk assessment that will essentially empower the consumer to learn more about themselves,” Foster told Drug Store News.
Unlike the typical blood-pressure monitor located just outside of the pharmacy, SoloHealth’s kiosk is interactive, guiding users through a health-and-wellness video questionnaire and providing actionable suggestions as part of a one-page printout at the end. “We’ve recorded hundreds of different outcomes depending upon who you are,” Foster said. “So if we know [the patient] is African-American and over 40, we can say, ‘Did you realize that because of your ethnicity and your age, you’re actually more likely to have glaucoma?’”
The original EyeSite kiosks provided contact information for nearby optometrists; the new systems can funnel new patients into adjacent retail clinics or nearby primary care practices, Foster suggested. It could become a feeder system, he said, referring patients patronizing a lower-volume pharmacy to the retail clinic housed in a higher-volume location, for example.
Hamacher Resource Group’s HealthPicks is a kiosk that serves as both a solution-driven, product-recommendation kiosk and a coupon generator offering discounts across items that consumers already have self-selected as merchandise they intend to buy that day.
It’s certainly more than just an informational kiosk defining products within the store, Dave Wendland, Hamacher VP, told Drug Store News. “We wanted to make this a very transactional interaction,” he said, that helps shoppers narrow selection by 1-of-3 filters: pharmacist recommendations, savings/rewards and items ranked by purchase frequency.
Most interesting, however, is the opportunity to market that cost savings, Wendland noted. Coupling a cost-savings with an item being researched by the consumer in the actual retail box greatly influences intent to purchase on that day, he said. Hamacher to date has tested the kiosk across five categories: pain relief, digestive health, cough-cold-allergy, eye and ear care, and oral care. “Within oral care over the past six months, 23% of the unit sales sold within that category were accompanied with a HealthPicks coupon,” Wendland said. “So in 1-in-5 purchases in that category during our test, the people who were purchasing that item used a coupon,” he said.
Pennsylvania boosts pharmacists’ role; NACDS hails bid for collaboration
ALEXANDRIA, Va. In a gesture hailed by retail pharmacy advocates, the Keystone State is moving to expand the role its pharmacists play in improving patient health and outcomes.
The move comes with enactment of a Pennsylvania law, H.B. 1041, which will open new opportunities for collaborative medication therapy management between physicians and pharmacists on behalf of patients in a community pharmacy setting. Previously, such team approaches were permitted only in such institutional settings as hospitals and nursing homes in the state.
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores had high praise for the new law, calling it an “important victory,” and citing the efforts made by the Pennsylvania Association of Chain Drug Stores and the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association toward its passage. “With the enactment of this legislation, Pennsylvania has said ‘yes’ to improving the health and lives of patients, and to reducing overall healthcare costs,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “This new law recognizes the expertise of pharmacists, the accessibility of community pharmacy and the ability of pharmacists to help patients properly manage their health conditions for the well-being of patients and for the good of society.”
Pennsylvania is the 33rd state to allow collaborative drug therapy management in the community setting, according to NACDS research. “Nine states allow it in institutional settings only, and eight do not allow it at all,” noted the group Friday.
Taro receives FDA approval for Kytril generic
HAWTHORNE, N.Y. Taro Pharmaceutical Industries has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to market its generic version of a drug used to prevent nausea and vomiting in patients on chemotherapy, the Israeli generic drug maker said Friday.
The FDA approved Taro’s granisetron hydrochloride tablets in the 1-mg strength. The tablets are a generic version of Roche’s Kytril tablets.
Granisetron tablets had sales of around $15 million in 2009, according to unnamed industry sources cited by Taro.