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Telemedicine sees flurry of activity, expect to see more

BY Antoinette Alexander

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — It was a busy week for telemedicine-based news, particularly if you count health kiosks — DSN sure does.

(THE NEWS: Take Care Health Systems develops telehealth offering for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. For the full story, click here.)

On the heels of news that Take Care Health Systems has collaborated to make telehealth services available to thousands of BCBSNC employees located throughout North Carolina via a service called called OnlineCareNC, Solohealth and PharmaSmart also made headlines during the week with major announcements.

SoloHealth has unveiled plans to expand its FDA-approved SoloHealth Station health-and-wellness digital kiosks to more than 2,500 store locations by mid-2013, scaling to more than 4,000 by 2014. Meanwhile, PharmaSmart, which makes health kiosks, has announced its partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Team Up. Pressure Down.” program to promote blood pressure management among patients with hypertension.

What do all of these initiative have in common? Technology expands access and connects providers, and you can expect to see a lot more of these types of headlines in the months ahead.

As a patient, have you used telehealth services, and if so, what was your experience?

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Fresh & Easy introduces easy-prep prepared produce line

BY Gail Hoffer

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has launched “Made Easy,” a new and expanded selection of fresh prepared salads and vegetables, which includes 39 varieties of bag salads and kits, micro-steamers, and sliced and diced vegetables.

According to the company, the “Made Easy” line was designed to make it easier for customers to get the fruit and vegetables they need. The label now communicates how many people the product can serve, and how this portion contributes to their daily recommended intake of vegetables. This labeling also appears on other Fresh & Easy packages, such as the vegetables from the “Ready To Cook” line.

“Fresh & Easy is always looking for ways to help customers solve the nagging question of ‘what’s for dinner tonight,’” said chief customer officer John Burry. “Not only does Made Easy help with easy meal solutions, but it also aims to help customers make sure they are eating enough fruits and vegetables throughout the day.”

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Retail information technology vet joins Weis from Supervalu

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. — Information technology vet Shirl Stroeing joined Weis Markets earlier this week as the company’s VP and chief information officer, according to published reports. 

Stroeing makes the move from Supervalu, where she was VP service management and operations support. 

Stroeing succeeds Bob Mawyer, who departed Weis earlier this year, and will report to Scott Frost, Weis SVP, CFO and treasurer. 

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