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Rite Aid launches telehealth kiosks in Ohio

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Rollout furthers chain's retail health care strategy, pharmacy chief says

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CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid Corp. has officially opened HealthSpot telehealth stations in 25 of its drug stores in Ohio.

The drug chain said Monday that the HealthSpot kiosks — located in Rite Aid pharmacies in the Akron-Canton, Cleveland and Dayton-Springfield markets — have served thousands of customers since opening in late May. The retailer announced its partnership with HealthSpot last November and said it planned to pilot the technology at stores in those communities.

Via the HealthSpot stations, customers can access a menu of services, including pediatric care, for minor and common health conditions, including cold and flu; cough; fever; sore throats; sinus infections and congestion; earaches and ear infections; seasonal allergies; mild vomiting, nausea and diarrhea; bronchitis; rashes and skin conditions (such as poison ivy, sunburn and insect bites); and eye conditions (such as pink eye and styes). HealthSpot’s cloud-based telehealth software enables users to interact privately with health providers in a 40-square-foot kiosk using high-definition videoconferencing and biometric medical devices, including a stethoscope, an otoscope, a pulse oximeter and a magnascope.

Each station is supported by a trained wellness attendant, who can help patients as needed from check-in to checkout, Rite Aid said. Records of each visit are maintained, facilitating health provider communication and continuity of care, and the software platform interfaces with insurance eligibility, electronic medical records and billing systems.

“The opening of the first HealthSpot stations inside select Rite Aid pharmacies in Ohio is another step in our transformation into retail health care company,” Robert Thompson, executive vice president of pharmacy at Rite Aid, said in a statement. “This first-of-its-kind model pairs licensed health care providers with state-of-the-art technology to deliver a truly unique solution to consumers looking for convenient and quality health care. We are excited to be bringing such an innovative concept to market and look forward to introducing our customers to HealthSpot.”

As part of HealthSpot’s Care Network, customers in Ohio can connect with medical professionals from the Cleveland Clinic, Kettering Health Network and University Hospitals, including pediatric specialists from UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. The Care Network enables clinicians to extend their reach into local communities and serve more patients with expanded hours through HealthSpot stations, the companies noted.

“Telehealth is a key driver in the revolution of our health care delivery system. HealthSpot brings together a set of unique technologies, devices and local health care providers to create a one-of-a-kind health care experience,” stated Steve Cashman, chief executive officer of Dublin, Ohio-based HealthSpot. “We are thrilled to be working with Rite Aid to pilot this new health care model as the first retail clinic truly integrated with local health systems to expand access to affordable and convenient health care in Ohio.”


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