Commentary

FDA Approves SoloHealth Kiosks

Healthcare seems to be one of the fastest-growing digital out-of-home verticals, with new networks launching and existing networks expanding all the time. This week SoloHealth, which operates interactive screening kiosks in retail pharmacy locations, announced that it has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its new SoloHealth Station, which provides advertising opportunities in addition to its consumer health functions.

Before granting the SoloHealth Station approval, in March of this year the FDA studied the potential applications for interactive kiosks, including education, self-diagnosis, dispensing drugs for certain chronic conditions, and recommending healthcare providers from local and national databases, all as part of a larger effort to improve access to pharmacy services and healthcare. In 2010 SoloHealth received a $1.2 million grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to study these needs and develop the kiosk format. 

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SoloHealth projects that there will be thousands of SoloHealth Stations active in retail pharmacies by the end of the year, with key strategic alliances to be announced in the next several months. The company will eventually replace the existing SoloHealth network, composed of the company’s first-generation EyeSite Vision kiosks. The SoloHealth kiosks offer DOOH advertising opportunities in coordination with Internet, mobile and social media.

As noted, SoloHealth is just one player among many in the healthcare DOOH space. In March Aceso launched Hospital TV Network (HTV), which delivers content focused on healthy lifestyles, entertainment, and learning -- along with targeted advertising -- to hospital common and waiting areas. The Wellness Network operates The Patient Channel and The Newborn Channel, acquired from NBC in 2010, which reach 20 million patients and their caregivers and 3.1 million new moms per year, respectively, according to the company.

And in May of last year, AccentHealth unveiled nine new “condition-specific” networks that deliver digital video content to waiting rooms targeted according to the types of condition most commonly treated at each location, focused on diabetes health, heart health, men’s health, mental health, senior women’s health, rheumatology, allergies, asthma, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). These joined four original AccentHealth networks that target general practice, seniors, ob-gyn and pediatrics.

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