Go to the supermarket, visit the healthcare kiosk?

Leading ‘automated retailer’ Coinstar (self-service coin counters, Redbox DVD vending machines) has invested in SoloHealth, the developer of the EyeSite vision screening kiosk. The SoloHealth Station will screen not only vision, but also blood pressure, weight, and body mass index, along with an overall health assessment free of charge and a database of local doctors. The kiosks will of course be placed in high-traffic retail locations; Coinstar plans to connect them to ‘SoloHealth’s multi-platform ecosystem across retail, online/digital, mobile and emerging platforms.’ Now if they’d connect the data to a PHR or an online database…or videoconferencing to a local retail clinic? Release.

5 thoughts on “Go to the supermarket, visit the healthcare kiosk?

  1. We have a Coinstar machine in my nearest supermarket … I think I might even have seen someone use it once.

    It is very popular with youngsters looking for amusement while their parents pay for their groceries and the kids’ sweeties. Said parents are probably stressed beyond measure combining bored youngsters and a supermarket in one very quick hit on a weekend … blood pressure check anyone?

    In real estate they say it is all about Location, Location, Location; perhaps something Coinstar need to think about in offering a health hub on a convenience basis?

  2. SoloHealth has an opportunity to be the “front porch” of healthcare for millions of people. The free interactive kiosks will empower people to learn about their own health and connect with local healthcare providers.

    There has been a fundamental shift over the past 5-7 years from a service perspective… What used to be “what can you do for me?” has shifted to “what can I do for myself?”… Think ATM, self checkout at grocery, airline check in, etc. Self Service healthcare is at it’s infancy…

    We are excited to partner with Coinstar/RedBox who can help accelerate our growth, ultimately helping improve access to healthcare and lowering costs.

    -Bart Foster, CEO & Founder

  3. Thanks for your response Bart … we may be back to the cultural differences issue here.

    I don’t use the Coinstar because it is after the checkout … I’ll lose the voucher before next shopping trip!

    In the UK many people avoid the self-checkout at the supermarket, to the extent that when it is busy they employ a person to cajole customers into using the self-serve [i]I avoid it because the ‘woman who shouts instructions from the depths of the machine’ is so bossy and patronising – I leave the store a gibbering wreck![/i].

    Last year I had the joyous experience of visiting a well known chain of hotels with a shiny new initiative of self-check-in I waited over 20 minutes while the man before me ummed and oohed about not remembering his pin, had the attendant help him and then said it would have been easier to be checked in like they used to. My check-in wasn’t straightforward either because I had a corporate booking and so couldn’t check in on my card …

    … and if I can avoid using the self-serve ticket collection machine at the rail station I do … juggling my wallet for my credit card, my tablet with the confirmation number, my luggage and then the tickets as well, all in a busy concourse makes me feel quite vulnerable

    In the UK we are notoriously squeamish about anyone getting to know about our personal health issues (unless of course we are discussing bowel movements in a busy coffee shop [i]I know I don’t get that either[/i]

    We do already have machines publicly sited that can do weight, height and BMI but I have only ever seen kids using them as a climbing frame. I am pleased you are excited at the prospect for Solo-Health and it is good to see you trying different ways to make health technology acceptable … but when you are ready to try the UK market you may find it is an uphill push … hopefully you will prove me wrong!

  4. The only self-service machine in my local supermarket is a Photobooth which delivers passport quality pictures in under 60 seconds. I have used it once – and then made a special trip there rather than popping in after the grocery round and check-out. Other family members and friends have done the same. Perhaps our fear was that we would lose our shopping while we were inside the booth. It would be normal to have to ask kids who are playing in there to vacate the facility before one is able to sit down and pose.

    Yesterday, the booth was unavailable due to a technical fault – perhaps the result of all the kids playing in there. This in itself would question the reliability of the technology and might be used by the public as an excuse not to use it – and this is in addition to the cost (the NHS is free at the point of delivery!), and the requirement for privacy which most older Brits rate as being very important.

    So Cathy is right as far as I’m concerned – and I would urge health booth developers to look for alternative locations where the public might have more time and privacy – maybe the toilets (i.e. bathrooms) of hotels and restaurants.

  5. If I were advising Coinstar/SoloHealth, the prime ‘location location location’ would be chain drugstores such as CVS, Walgreens and Duane Reade where either local regulations (see TA 3 April) or space requirements prevent retail health clinic placement. They are logical adjuncts to their ‘minute clinic’ operations (alliance opportunity, and off-hours operation?), shots and checkup operations, and avoid the problems that Kevin outlines above.

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