Image above: Rendering of new Northwell hospital in Manhattan, slated to open fall 2025.
Northwell Health plans to have a line of branded products for sale by this summer, in what’s certainly a novel way for a large hospital/ healthcare system to bring in extra income and expand its brand.
Northwell, the largest healthcare system in the New York area, has teamed up with manufacturer/distributor Digital Gadgets for a line of Northwell-branded products that are expected to be sold nationwide online and through retail stores.
Digital Gadgets, which has primarily been in the tech products business, got experience in the healthcare field during the pandemic when it distributed PPE (personal protective equipment) and testing kids to over 30 government agencies.
Northwell is now in the process of selecting its initial products to be manufactured, distributed and marketed by Digital Gadgets, Joe Moscola, Northwell’s executive vice president of enterprise services, tells Marketing Daily. That Northwell Health will receive royalties from products sold.
Moscola says to expect “medical products, not necessarily medical-grade products.” The key is items where “no one name or brand owns the market…common products without brand control.” Possibilities include canes, crutches, and the “socks that we give you in the hospital to prevent you from falling.”
While retail is the main focus of the Northwell/Digital Gadgets agreement -- “think CVS, Walgreens or supermarkets,” says Moscola -- the healthcare provider is also working with the products company on items for its own internal use. “We at Northwell do an incredible amount of purchasing,” he explains.
So, in addition to those Northwell-branded socks, Northwell patients can expect to see such additions as Northwell-branded patient bags. Right now those bags, where a patient’s belongings are kept during surgical and hospital visits, are typically plastic, Moscola says. “We’ve asked them [Digital Gadgets] to source a sustainable, reusable bag.”
Northwell is also looking at Digital Gadgets’ technology products -- “everything from computers to audio-visual equipment -- for possible internal use.
You can also expect the retail products to be sold at Northwell facilities, since all of its hospitals have retail stores. Moscola notes that a new hospital being built in Manhattan (between 76th and 77th Streets on Third Avenue) “will have a retail component.” And, wherever we can within Northwell’s footprint, our intent is to put some of these items on the shelves.”
And outside of Northwell’s footprint?
“This is another medium for us to continue to get the Northwell brand out there nationally, and maybe even internationally,” Moscola says.
While the potential for sales is huge -- “we’re talking billions of dollars” for such previously “unmarketed, unbranded items” -- he concedes that for now, “it's a space that most [healthcare] organizations are not in, so in a way, it’s us testing the waters to see how viable a revenue stream this could be.”