You can now go into some drug stores and get treated for an illness by someone who could be thousands of miles away. Rite-Aid is putting in telemedicine kiosks, where you are diagnosed by a nurse or doctor somewhere else via video and telemetry from devices in the kiosk.
CVS has already been doing this for a while. I know of one location where it wasn’t successful and they’ve already shut it down, but it may be doing well elsewhere. People may be willing to go into a drug store to see a nurse practioner instead of an actual M.D., but I wonder how comfortable they’ll feel being diagnosed through something similar to Apple Facetime. You have to wonder what’s next, perhaps robot doctors like the one who treated Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. Whoops, another person losing his job to a computer–someone just entering medical school might have some doubts about how many jobs for actual humans there might be by the time (s)he gets out…
Rite Aid takes the the health kiosk idea to a new level
Rite Aid is targeting consumers looking for quality and convenient health care with the debut of telemedicine kiosks at some of its stores.
HealthSpot’s heralded telehealth stations went live inside 25 Rite Aid locations in Ohio on Monday, marking another milestone for Rite Aid on the company’s journey to becoming a comprehensive healthcare destination center.
“The opening of the first HealthSpot stations inside select Rite Aid pharmacies in Ohio is another step in our transformation into retail healthcare company,” Rite Aid’s EVP Pharmacy Robert Thompson said. “This first-of-its-kind model pairs licensed healthcare providers with state-of-the-art technology to deliver a truly unique solution to consumers looking for convenient and quality healthcare. We are excited to be bringing such an innovative concept to market and look forward to introducing our customers to HealthSpot.”
Through proprietary cloud-based telemedicine software, HealthSpot allows users to interact with nationally recognized providers in a private, 40-square foot station using high-definition videoconferencing and interactive medical devices including a stethoscope, an otoscope, a pulse oximeter and a magnascope. Each HealthSpot station is supported by a trained wellness attendant who can help the patient as needed from check-in to check-out.
Customers ages 3 and above can be treated for minor and common health conditions, including cold and flu, rashes and skin conditions, eye conditions, earaches and seasonal allergies. A record of the visit is maintained, ensuring seamless communication and continuity of care. The software platform also interfaces with insurance eligibility, electronic medical records and billing systems.
“Telehealth is a key driver in the revolution of our healthcare delivery system. HealthSpot brings together a set of unique technologies, devices and local healthcare providers to create a one-of-a-kind healthcare experience,” Steve Cashman, HealthSpot CEO, said. “We are thrilled to be working with Rite Aid to pilot this new healthcare model as the first retail clinic truly integrated with local health systems to expand access to affordable and convenient healthcare in Ohio.”
In Ohio, customers will be able to connect with a network of medical professionals from Cleveland Clinic, Kettering Health Network and University Hospitals, including pediatric specialists from UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, as part of HealthSpot’s Care Network. The Care Network, a key component in building the infrastructure necessary to offer affordable, quality healthcare in retail, enables clinicians to extend their reach into local communities and serve more patients with expanded hours through HealthSpot stations.
The HealthSpot stations are located inside select Rite Aid pharmacies in Akron/Canton, Cleveland and Dayton/Springfield.
Rite Aid and HealthSpot first announced their partnership in November 2014.