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Rite Aid Foundation gives assist to SoCal wildfire victims

BY Michael Johnsen

The Rite Aid Foundation announced Wednesday a $100,000 donation to the American Red Cross to help the victims, families and communities in Southern California affected by the wildfires.  

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by the wildfires, which are being counted among the worst in California's history," stated Kermit Crawford, Rite Aid president and COO and president of The Rite Aid Foundation. "The Rite Aid Foundation is proud to partner with the American Red Cross to help the people and communities in Southern California in their time of need and it's our hope this donation will aid them as they start to rebuild and recover."

"As the Red Cross helps those affected by disasters like the California wildfires, we are extremely grateful for The Rite Aid Foundation's support, which allows us to shelter, feed and provide comfort to people who have been impacted by a disaster," said Don Herring, chief development officer at the American Red Cross. 

Since its inception in 2001, The Rite Aid Foundation has awarded more than $34 million to non-profit organizations. Additionally, Rite Aid, through the efforts of its customers, supplier partners and associates, has also raised more than $81 million for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals across the country since 1994.  

 

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Wearables makers target new demographics, functions

BY Michael Johnsen

Garmin is focusing on further developing its activity trackers for children with the introduction of Disney licenses, including Star Wars and Marvel, for its Vívofit Jr. In addition to tracking steps, sleep and kids’ activity on the way to their recommended 60-minute daily play goal, the Vívofit Jr. comes with a free, parent-controlled mobile app. The Vívofit Jr. band is designed for children ages 4- to 9-years old, and is available for $79.99.

Earlier this year, Fitbit launched its smartwatch Fitbit Ionic at just under $300. The Fitbit Ionic delivers advanced and innovative health and fitness features, such as GPS, enhanced heart rate tracking, on-device guided workouts and automatic sleep tracking with Sleep Stages, all powered by up to five days of battery life and cross-platform smartphone compatibility. It is available in three-color combinations: silver gray tracker and clasp with blue gray band, smoke gray tracker and clasp with charcoal band or burnt orange tracker and clasp with slate blue band.

NeuroMetrix has entered the wearable space with a chronic pain relief device that uses TENS technology with its Quell device. It’s similar to other wearable devices in that it tracks pain-related data as part of its app, and is much more than a typical TENS device in that it is worn around the calf as opposed to the area of the body that’s hurting. Recent added functionalities for the $249 device includes an activity tracker and gate tracking.

Shipping in early December, Nokia recently announced the launch of Nokia Steel HR, an activity tracking watch with heart rate monitoring, smartphone notifications and personalized coaching programs. Nokia Steel HR utilizes a technology called photoplethysmography, which Nokia says monitors heart rate using green LED lights to detect variation in the level of blood in the wrist. Pricing is expected to range between $179.95 and $199.95. Nokia Steel HR’s heart rate algorithm has been developed to provide accurate measurements, especially during workouts when it’s used most.
 

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Walgreens app makes health tracking easy

BY Michael Johnsen

Walgreens is using its popular app to help consumers connect to many brands of fitness trackers outside of the store. The retailer, which is marketing Striiv, its own branded activity tracker, allows members of the company’s Balance Rewards program to also connect through 40 different devices and 27 apps, according to the Walgreen’s website.

“We do not sell the Apple Watch, but fitness data tracked on that device can be relayed through our mobile app to link up with Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices,” Jim Graham, Walgreens senior manager media relations, said.

Walgreens currently has more than 88 million active members of its Balance Rewards program through its mobile app, which earned a 5-star rating on the Apple App Store. Walgreens Balance Rewards for healthy choices has 1.2 million active users each with 1.6 healthy lifestyle goals met. These positive behaviors translate directly to reduced healthcare costs for participants, their employers and payers, Graham said, and noted that it allows the company to play a larger role in patients’ health.

“Our mobile app is an important part of our broader effort to make Walgreens a trusted healthcare partner, easily and immediately accessible, when you are tracking exercise with your wrist device, when it’s time to take your medication or when you are looking to save with coupons or redeem Balance Reward points.”

In addition to syncing with a patient’s preferred fitness tracker, the mobile app’s most popular features include a prescription refill, refill status check, photo print ordering and coupon generation, as well as its refill-by-scan feature, which enables patients to scan their pill bottle label.
 

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