HEALTH

Deloitte: Wearables drive consumer health engagement

BY DSN STAFF

The number of U.S. consumers tracking their health data with wearables has more than doubled since 2013, and they also are becoming more engaged in their own health care through use of technology and data sharing solutions, according to new research from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions.

The Deloitte 2018 Survey of U.S. Health Care Consumers surveyed 4,530 U.S. adults and found that roughly one-third of consumers said they are interested in using digital tools, apps and at-home diagnostic tests for identifying symptoms and for health coaching.

About half, 51% of respondents, were comfortable using an at-home test to diagnose infections before seeing a doctor. More than 35% of respondents said they are interested in using a virtual assistant to identify symptoms and direct them to a caregiver.

A similar amount (31%) are interested in connecting with a live health coach who offers 24/7 text messaging for nutrition, exercise, sleep and stress management.

The study also found that 60% of consumers said they are willing to share personal health data from devices with their doctor to improve their health.

Of those who used wearables in the past year, 73% said they used them consistently, which the report said runs counter to past studies that showed that fitness devices had a high rate of abandonment.

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Stork Ib2C survey finds need for fertility alternatives

BY DSN STAFF

A survey conducted last year by the Stork Ib2C uncovered some misconceptions about conception. The Stork is an OTC conception device from Rinovum Women’s Health.

Women surveyed said they were interested in natural ways to improve fertility, including tracking their ovulation with either an app or test kit (62%), making changes to their diet and exercise (60%), and taking vitamins (40%).

The Stork is a low-cost option that involves no shots, scans or prescriptions, the company said. The device, which provides users a way to keep a higher sperm score concentration at the cervix than natural intercourse through cervical cap insemination, is approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Women and couples are seeking simple, affordable solutions when having difficulty conceiving, said Stephen Bollinger, CEO of Rinovum, who noted that consumers are taking a proactive role in reproductive health. “The rising costs of health care and lifestyle trends of couples today are contributors to the growing category,” he said. “Couples seek out diagnostic and treatment options that they can use in the privacy of their home, and at a fraction of the cost compared to clinical procedures that many simply cannot afford.”

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Hy-Vee structures in-store nutrition tours around disease states

BY Mark Hamstra

Hy-Vee, which has been a pioneer in the use of in-store dietitians in supermarkets, recently began rolling out a new dietitian-led store tour program. The effort is focusing on three disease states in particular — diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.

“We decided that we want to make a difference in these three disease states,” said Aaron Wiese, vice president of Hy-Vee’s HealthMarkets and health and wellness strategy. “The reality is, that’s where most of the cost of health care comes from, so we look at what can we do with food to help our customers manage and prevent those diseases.”

Hy-Vee is offering one store tour per week in each participating store for each of the disease states, for a total of three tours per week in each store. Dietitians lead interested customers on a predesigned tour in which they are shown how to select products that can help with their specific condition.

The company conducted an extensive marketing campaign to launch the program, including email messaging, social media, point-of-sale materials, in-store announcements and a direct mail campaign to people in Hy-Vee’s trade areas. In addition, awareness of the store tours has spread through word-of-mouth and through the dietitians’ own long-standing relationships with the customers in the communities they serve.

Wiese said the expanded tours have been a success have attracted new customers.

“Consistently, we are seeing more and more customers taking us up on this offer,” Wiese said. “It’s a free chance to walk a grocery store with a registered dietitian and have your questions answered.”

Consumers often struggle putting the dietary advice of their doctors into practice, he said, and in-store dietitians can help them form a bridge between a physician’s recommendation to eat less sugar, for example, and the actual selection of products in the store. In addition, shoppers often are the caregivers for others in their households who have disease states and might not have been present for the patient’s conversation with the doctor.

“Sometimes it’s important to get that basic education about how to read a product label,” Wiese said about the guidance the tours offer. “Sometimes it is showing them where that product is or where to shop in the store.”

Hy-Vee has long offered diabetes prevention programs in its stores, and even has certified diabetes educators in several of its metro markets, but the new program represents an expansion of the offering.

“This is an area where we will continue to innovate and bring more value to our customers through our dietitians,” Wiese said. “The reality that people are starting to understand is that food has a marked impact on overall health. What you put into your body makes a world of difference with regard to how you feel.”

The company currently employs 165 dietitians across its 246-store network, with some dietitians covering multiple stores.

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