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GMDC's well-attended 'Demo Day' facilitates health innovation at retail


SAN ANTONIO  – The Global Market Development Center is infusing both innovation and intelligence into the marketplace to help facilitate the retail self-care opportunity at the 2016 Health Beauty Wellness (HBW16) Marketing Conference, which hosted almost 700 participants, held here.

Between a new event titled "Demo Day" and an increased number of Strategic Executive Connection sessions involving more than 60 retailers, HBW16 is helping to navigate that last mile across the healthcare ecosystem that is funneling patients into retail health centers. "We continue to identify ways to connect our members to help them grow," Patrick Spear, president and CEO of GMDC, shared during a press conference held Friday. "To identify next practice products, services and technologies and really what's coming, what trends are impacting [the marketplace] as we think about health, beauty and wellness for our members, both in the retail space and the manufacturing community."

The HBW16 Demo Day, where some 11 companies presented innovative concepts and services on stage to accelerators, retailers, suppliers and potential investors, kicked off to resounding success, Spear said. "The feedback we're hearing this morning is [the event] was outstanding," he said. "That was a fun event last night, standing room only."

"The goal of [Demo Day] was to continue to drive our historic mission of connectivity with an added twist in that there are a lot of things coming that are hard for both our retailer and wholesaler members to discover," Spear explained to Drug Store News. "And equally hard for innovators to create connectivity to those who could help them grow. This idea was informed by [GMDC] members on how do you innovate," Spear added. "The intent here was to create an environment to enable those introductions - rather than pitch to a room full of venture capitalists, let's let the innovators pitch to a room full of retailers, a much more relevant constituency."

"There were a number of innovators [presenting] both from a standpoint of retail technology, but also around health and wellness," Spear said. Companies presenting at the Demo Day included EyeQ Insights, a retail technology platform that enables in-store personalization; Impax Media, a digital media tool located at the checkstand that helps reduce shrink; Nicotrax, a smoking cessation program that utilizes a "smart pack" cigarette container;  and Recoup Fitness, which uses massage technology to better manage sports injuries.

And to help better define that retail health opportunity, GMDC earier this week released its latest Health Beauty Wellness Best-Practices white paper, “Preparing for the Future of Retail Healthcare: Home Health.” Already, eight in 10 consumers prefer using OTC self-treatments before visiting a health care professional, the report noted.

"The theme and focus for [the HBW16] conference is around the evolution of health care to self-care," Spear noted during the press conference. "We believe it's important to all of our members within our ecosystem as we think about the migration of health care away from legacy institutions [such] as hospitals and the healthcare system into our retail partners," he said, whether it's working with a dietition, pharmacist or other health professional.

GMDC’s white paper includes special insights on the new shape of retail health care from Jumpstart Foundry, a seed stage healthcare innovation fund dedicated to being the home of health care innovation, and helping entrepreneurs make something that truly makes a difference.


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