Update: 1/7/2015 HealthSpot has gone out of business for unknown reasons – see this article in MedCity News for more information:

http://medcitynews.com/2016/01/healthspot-fail-telemedicine/


HealthSpot wants to bring the doctor to you instead of you going to the doctor—now that’s a good idea!


Steve Cashman, the Founder and CEO of HealthSpot joined me at the 2015 HIMSS conference in Chicago to chat about the company and its recent partnership with Xerox Corporation. He started the conversation by saying “we are reinventing the way people get access to care.” And, indeed, they are. Link to video interview is here.

 

HealthSpot health kiosks

HealthSpot health stationBy co-locating the HealthSpot health kiosks in places you are likely to go anyway, such as pharmacies and grocery stores, they are making it more convenient than going to your doctor’s office or an emergency room.

But wait, you may be saying, aren’t retail clinics already doing that? Yeah, but unlike those models, HealthSpot is partnering with top notch physician organizations, such as the Cleveland Clinic, so you get to see a board certified physician via their telehealth platform instead of an in-person nurse or nurse practitioner.

Since HealthSpot is targeting people with minor illnesses (colds, sore throats, rashes and so forth) this seem like a bit of overkill—after all, these are the types of conditions our grandmothers used to take care in the not-so-distant past.

But, we have medicalized everything, fueled in large part by fee-for-service reimbursement and third-party payment, so now many people believe they have to see a doctor for anything and everything; I once saw someone in clinic who had discovered their radial pulse and wondered what it was! Since the price is right ($49-$79 according to a video on their website) and it may be covered by insurance, HealthSpot kiosk-care is likely to be highly attractive to some consumers.

 

Engaging consumers with diagnostic devices

HealthSpot kiosk interiorThe HealthSpot kiosks are provisioned with diagnostic devices, including blood pressure cuffs, stethoscopes, thermometers, otoscopes, pulse oximeters, and lighted magnifying scopes, called Magnascopes, for imaging skin, eyes, and the back of the throat. There is even a scale built into the floor to weigh yourself on. Consumers can use the devices themselves or the medical attendant staffing the kiosk can help. Since the devices are all camera-enabled, the patient can see exactly what the physician is seeing—ahhh…I can hear it now, hey, doc, that ear drum looks normal to me, why are you prescribing antibiotics!

Right now, the kiosks are not set up to do lab tests that require a blood draw, but Steve tells me they are very interested in adding CLIA-waived, point of care tests that only require a small blood sample (such as a finger stick).

 

Locations

Now that I have gotten you all excited about going to a HealthSpot, you are probably wondering where you can find one. If you live in Ohio, you are in luck. There are 6 kiosks there, including two in grocery stores and one in the Slovenian National Home (not open to the public). There are two in partnership with Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and one in San Diego California (also not open to the public). In the next few months, the company will open their first pharmacy-based kiosks in partnership with RiteAid pharmacies in Cleveland, Akron, Canton, and Dayton (Ohio metropolitan areas).

 

Xerox—helping HealthSpot scale

Tamara St. Claire,Chief Innovation Officer, Xerox
Tamara St. Claire,Chief Innovation Officer, Xerox

HealthSpot recently partnered with Xerox and we were lucky to have Tamara St. Claire, Chief Innovation Officer of Commercial Healthcare for Xerox join our conversation to explain the relationship. Xerox has now invested in HealthSpot to help them scale more rapidly; they are also an active participant in the development of the kiosks, providing infrastructure such as cloud hosting, integration with EHRs, claims eligibility and claims submission, and soon, appointment scheduling as well.

 

Disrupting the disruptors

It wasn’t that long ago that retail clinics were the disruptors bringing urgent care out of traditional settings and into pharmacies and grocery stores across the country. Now, retail clinics are big business and, so, are themselves ripe for disruption by new models, such as HealthSpot’s kiosk-care.

I love it that staid ole healthcare is now joining the ranks of industries that are reinventing themselves more rapidly than ever before. It’s about time!

 

Patricia Salber MD, MBA (@docweighsin)
Patricia Salber, MD, MBA is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Doctor Weighs In. She is also the CEO of Health Tech Hatch, the sister site of TDWI that helps innovators tell their stories to the world. She is also a physician executive who has worked in all aspects of healthcare including practicing emergency physician, health plan executive, consultant to employers, CMS, and other organizations. She is a Board Certified Internist and Emergency Physician who loves to write about just about anything that has to do with healthcare.

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