higi to put health kiosks in Shopko stores in 18 states
While the 263 kiosks going into Shopko supermarkets, pharmacies and small-format groceries are a tiny portion of the nearly 10,000 higi stations already deployed, the move represents an important step into underserved communities. Shopko, based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, serves small to mid-size cities and small towns.
“They’re in locations where access to care is very challenging,” higi CEO Jeff Bennett said. The healthcare providers Shopko pharmacies partner with might be 100 miles away from the store. “We’re trying to be where the consumers are, when they want us,” Bennett added.
“higi will be an innovative way to engage our shoppers and employees, helping them track and achieve their individual wellness goals. We are excited to leverage higi’s platform in combination with our great pharmacy teams, driving our vision as a health and wellness destination in the communities we serve,” Darren Singer, senior vice president of retail health and wellness at Shopko, said in a statement.
Chicago-based higi has had a busy year. 2016 started with the company pulling in $40 million in new investment. In March, higi kicked off a nationwide fitness challenge with Garmin. (The photo above is from Garmin’s flagship store on Chicago’s North Michigan Avenue.)
A month later, higi announced a deal with Force Diagnostics to accelerate health screenings for life insurance underwriting.
The kiosk strategy brings to mind HealthSpot, the failed telehealth company thatliquidated last week. Bennett said his company is pursuing a more diversified strategy, offering kiosks as just one option, in addition to home-based health monitoring and web connectivity.
Also, the higi kiosks have a much smaller footprint, about 3 feet square, and don’t contain medical instruments that have to be professionally disinfected after each use. “[HealthSpot’s] main goal was to deal with the issue of providing an alternative to a clinic,” Bennett noted. higi, on the other hand, is completely self-service, without a physician or nurse practitioner on the back end.