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Walmart’s retail medical clinics to add telemedicine services

BY Allison Cerra

LONDON — A worldwide provider of managed videoconferencing, telepresence and visual collaboration services has partnered with Telemed Ventures to deliver a managed visual collaboration solution to Walmart’s retail medical clinics.

BSC Global said it is bringing its service — which enables remote video consultations between a patient and doctor through a life-like, virtual face-to-face video interface over a secure video network — to Walmart’s retail medical clinics, which are operated by Telemed Ventures’ Smart Care Doc brand. Users of the service have the ability to conduct telepresence-quality face-to-face interactions over the Internet using existing laptops, smartphones or tablets — making it a very affordable solution for patients, doctors and healthcare providers, the companies said.

"We are very excited to partner with Telemed to deliver our managed, cloud-based, visual collaboration solution to Walmart’s retail medical clinics," BCS Global CEO Clive Sawkins said. "Video technology continues to evolve exponentially; technology that came to market 12 to 18 months ago is now primetime. Surpassing the underlying technology that powered the legacy video systems of yesterday, is a newer, more intelligent technology that enables us to bring to Walmart’s retail medical clinics, a cost-effective solution, and an improved user experience."


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R.HAMMERLE says:
Jun-13-2012 10:25 pm

Realizing telemedicine's potential-- and Walmart's prior success-- in dramatically driving down costs while simultaneously increasing access and quality may prove as challenging to Walmart and BSC Global as it did in Walmart's previous efforts to get disparate hospital operators to use a common EMR and sublimate their local brand to the Walmart clinic brand. Having an external technology operator from outside the U.S. may help Walmart in reaching and serving its global markets, but BSC's success in serving global retail, manufacturing, banking, financial services and legal customers is a lot easier than working with thousands of local U.S. healthcare providers. [Aside from the Veterans Administration Health System, the U.S. has no national providers of medical care. Walmart's past public announcements about talking with 400 hospitals anxious to open clinics should provide a lesson.] Further, many successful telecom, device, software and hardware companies have been unknowingly tripped up by FDA, FCC, HIPAA, CMS, Stark laws and myriad state licensing regulations. Picking the right test markets and operators will be critical to determining success--- and both company's ability to replicate it domestically and internationally. Game on. Ron Hammerle, Chairman and CEO Health Resources, Ltd. Tampa, Florida

R.HAMMERLE says:
Jun-08-2012 07:46 am

A logical and powerful addition that will continue to transform retail-point-of entry clinics and further extend Walmart's presence and influence in the healthcare industry. Despite relying upon local hospital operators for its early in-store medical clinics, expect the company to follow the same path it has with its optical (vision) centers. But the transformative potential lies in the company's partnership with Humana--the only U.S. health insurer with historic experience owning and operating outpatient and inpatient medical services. Ron Hammerle, Chairman Health Resources, Ltd. Tampa, Florida

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Report: Convenience, cost major factors in driving patients toward mHealth solutions

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — More patients are actively looking for and expecting to find mobile health solutions, according to the global Economist Intelligence Unit report, which was commissioned by PricewaterhouseCoopers and released Thursday.

Roughly one-half of patients surveyed for this report predict that mHealth will improve the convenience, cost and quality of their health care in the next three years. Meanwhile, 6-in-10 doctors and payers believe that its widespread adoption in their countries is inevitable in the near future.

The top three factors that would drive patients toward greater utilization of mHealth in managing their own healthcare — more convenient access (46%), lower healthcare costs (43%) and greater ability to manage individual health care (32%).

However, most experts who contributed to the study suggest that the transformation to a robust care-system utilizing mHealth tools will be slow-going. "Widespread adoption of mHealth will require changes in behavior of actors who are trying to protect their interests," the executive summary reads. "The challenge will be even greater for innovators because the improvements that mHealth can bring — such as patient-centered care and a greater focus on prevention — will involve disruption of how healthcare is provided. To succeed, innovators must maneuver through culturally conservative, highly regulated and fragmented yet often monopolistic systems that often provide contradictory incentives."

For the full 44-page report, click here.


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NACDS Marketplace to feature new Digital Learning Center

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has announced that this year’s Marketplace Conference in Denver will feature a new interactive educational resource.

This year’s NACDS Marketplace Conference will take place June 23 to 26 in Denver.

NACDS and technology solutions company Inmar, an NACDS associate member, will partner to launch the NACDS Marketplace Digital Learning Center to help retailers and suppliers gain an understanding of the importance of developing and implementing a cohesive digital strategy.
 
The NACDS Marketplace Digital Learning Center — which will be located just inside the exhibit hall floor, by the NACDS New Product Showcase — will offer conference participants interactive experiences demonstrating how mobile Web promotions and social media can be utilized to enhance business. This is the first time an educational resource will be made available on the exhibit floor at the Marketplace Conference.
 
Specifically, the Center will demonstrate how digital promotions can help build customer loyalty and enhance business for retailers and suppliers utilizing three scenarios. Using hands-on displays, participants will explore how a consumer can use social media applications and mobile Web promotions to obtain discounts or other incentives for a particular retailer and/or product(s); how social media and mobile promotions can be used in a store setting; and how retailers and suppliers can collaborate and measure success of these promotions.
 
Seminars will be scheduled in the center during the conference to build awareness of current trends in the rapidly emerging digital promotions landscape. Inmar, along with leading industry partners, will present new insights to help retailers and suppliers engage the digital shopper, and leverage digital technology to foster stronger collaboration with brands. In addition, mobile and digital experts will be available to schedule private meetings with retailers and suppliers to further explore digital business opportunities.
 
“With its focus on business success and collaboration, the NACDS Marketplace Conference is the perfect venue for this interactive educational resource,” NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson said. “The Digital Learning Center brings an exciting new addition to the exhibit hall’s impressive array of products and services that contribute to business effectiveness and to meeting consumers’ needs. It also previews the innovative approach to trade show management that NACDS will apply to the 2013 debut of the NACDS Total Store Expo.”

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