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Higi: Empowering patients with information


How can pharmacy retailers and their vendor partners help make health care more accountable, accessible and cost-effective? And what role can they play to help their customers to lead longer, healthier lives?

(Click here to download the full Retail Health Summit special report.)

Start with the fact that “70% of our [health] costs are preventable in the sense that we can change our lifestyle habits,” said Jeff Bennett, CEO of higi, a leading provider of in-store health kiosks. “When you can get that consumer to say, ‘I’m going to advocate for myself and take that first step,’ that’s [a] big change.”

It’s about engaging patients in their own health regimens, said Bennett, a member of the panel on retail health technology. The success of retail-based, health-and-wellness offerings will depend in large part on the ability of pharmacists, retail clinicians and others to educate their customers about the state of their own health, connect them with the health provider community and encourage them to adopt healthier behaviors.

“You have to find people and help them create those [healthy] habits early — find those with at-risk issues and stop them before it becomes a problem,” Bennett said. “How do we get consumers engaged in healthy habits on a regular basis? You want them going to the most affordable place to get care as soon as possible so they don’t get sick, and the retailer is the central place where you can do that very cost-effectively ... [as] a partner with the healthcare system.”

With its self-testing diagnostic stations now offered in thousands of U.S. pharmacies, higi is in the business of “providing the tools for our partners that want a retail strategy” for providing health-and-wellness services, “and don’t have the technology to do it,” Bennett added.

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