CHICAGO — It’s been a landmark year for higi.
Surpassing 10,000 retail locations this year and rapidly approaching 200 million individual screenings since the company was founded four years ago, higi has built the largest health station network in the United States, including more than 50 food, drug and mass retail banners. These in-store, self-screening stations are assessable and convenient, with 78 percent of the U.S. population residing within five miles of a higi retail location.
Shopko is the most recent, publicly-announced higi retail partner with 270 Shopko locations as of October and plans to add stations to all new stores the retailer opens. In the coming months, major new partners are scheduled to be announced.
“higi is a great tool to have,” Gregg Jones, director of pharmacy professional services for Shopko, stated during the Dec. 1 Drug Store News Industry Issues Summit.
higi’s expansive retail footprint and omni-channel consumer engagement platform has also made Brian Owens, director of health & wellness insights for Kantar Retail, take notice. “As we move from traditional sick-care management to self-care management, I’ve been impressed with higi’s platform and expertise,” he said. “Platforms like higi’s are going to be the future of healthcare.”
Owens added higi is not just a kiosk located in a pharmacy but a data management company as well. “To be able to aggregate information to provide actual insights is where the focus needs to be in healthcare. It’s not about simply collecting information but being able to target at-risk populations,” he said. “The service higi provides allows consumers to take charge of their healthcare and, more importantly, gives them information to share with their pharmacy so that they can provide a regimen of care that’s necessary to transform [consumers’] lives.”
Data accuracy and strict privacy standards assure retail partners that the information their customers receive is reliable and actionable to share with pharmacists and other healthcare professionals, if needed. “Higi was the first and is the only station today that meets current AINSI-AAMI standards (ISO 81060-2:2013, Non-invasive sphygmomanometers — Part 2: Clinical investigation of automated measurement type) for BP measurement, which complies with regulatory guidelines for FDA-cleared Type II medical devices,” said higi’s VP of research and development Colin Hill, Ph.D. “ISO 13485:2016 is the standard the company adheres to for good manufacturing and continuing support of medical devices and is audited by a certified third-party ISO auditing company on a regular basis to make sure we meet this standard’s requirements.”
Added higi CEO, Jeff Bennett: “The structure of our system is the most scalable and privacy-focused there is. Everyone has their own encryption keys, so only the user can see data. Nobody can see data unless the patient decides to share it.”
With over 1 million screenings performed each week across the higi retail network, the company has the pulse of the nation in real time, literally speaking. Combined with health and activity data linked to a user’s account from over 70 different devices and apps, higi’s data is drawing the broader healthcare community into the higi ecosystem for population health, chronic care, and disease prevention solutions.
“We provide the most accessible, affordable and convenient means for all populations to connect and share objective, validated outcomes and activity data,” Bennett told Drug Store News. “Leveraging higi stations, mobile digital health devices and trackers, social data and other data available from retailers, higi enables an integrated view of a consumer’s health and lifestyle data outside of the traditional (healthcare) system, filling a major void in the healthcare delivery continuum.”
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