SoloHealth to Bring Health Care Screening Kiosks to Supermarkets, Pharmacies

SoloHealth plans to put kiosks in retail stores that allow people to perform basic personal health screenings. The new health care IT unit is a follow-up to the EyeSite vision-screening kiosk, which can be found in stores such as Kroger and Schnucks.

SoloHealth, a company focused on health education and prevention, plans to place self-service health kiosks in major retail stores to allow people to test themselves for conditions such as diabetes, obesity and hypertension, and to check their vision and hearing. Patients will then receive recommendations for follow-up care.

The company announced on June 17 that it received a $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to expand its EyeSite vision-screening kiosk into a full self-screening station. The existing EyeSite kiosk can be found in stores such as Kroger and Schnucks in Atlanta, Houston, St. Louis and other cities.

SoloHealth plans to target underserved communities with the new kiosk. Like the EyeSite unit, it will be free to use and will work in English and Spanish. It will incorporate an analytics engine to develop feedback for customers on their medical data based on a specific demographic and ethnicity. The unit will then print out customized reports and action plans. Screening will take less than 10 minutes, according to SoloHealth.

Monitoring your own health could reduce health care costs, said Bart Foster, CEO of SoloHealth, but you will still need to consult a doctor for follow-up examinations and treatment. "We're not trying to replace a doctor by any means," he told eWEEK. "We're trying to educate and motivate people to take action."

A cellular connection, mainly through Sprint's wireless network (although some Verizon PCI Express cards will be used, too, depending on the infrastructure), will connect the kiosks with SoloHealth's server in Atlanta.

The kiosk will run MySQL open-source database software on a small form-factor PC with Windows XP. The front-end consumer portal is still being developed, Stephen Kendig, SoloHealth's vice president of operations and development, told eWEEK.

SoloHealth has released a video demonstration of its EyeSite vision-screening kiosk, and it has a mock-up of the new self-screening terminal, which it plans to roll it out with two major retailers by the end of 2010.

Grocery stores and pharmacies are increasingly incorporating technology to help patients stay on top of their health needs. Recently Walgreen announced that it will send text alerts to customers on their mobile phones to alert them when their prescriptions are ready.