‘Blue Blazes’ indeed: Wal-Mart’s clinic in a back room

[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/blue-blazes.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /] The surprise here is not that Wal-Mart is teaming with Kaiser Permanente at two locations in California (Bakersfield, Palmdale) to trial a telemedicine/telehealth clinic. Nor is it that it’s confined to KP members and Wal-Mart employees–it is, after all, a pilot (albeit for two years). It’s that they’d let a photographer take a picture of the sheer crudity of the clinic setup (left, below, click to enlarge). It likely utilizes a disused storage area or back room, where the clinic, instead of soothing, clean white or blue, is institutional tan and crammed full of plug-ins–cameras, PC screens, equipment, exposed wires, plugs and outlets. Perfect for the claustrophobic! (s/o) The modish paint and signage at the entry area outside (see article photos) only serve to set up the potential user for disappointment. The question is, why didn’t they simply rent some ready-made kiosks from HealthSpot Station [TTA 29 Oct 13 + previous] or SoloHealth (already a Wal-Mart vendor)–or others? No wonder the nurse has to drag prospects off the floor. Truly a ‘What In Blue Blazes?’ moment that does not bode well for the success of this pilot–and a puzzle given the partners. Wal-Mart shoppers: The doctor will see you now (Bakersfield Californian)[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Wal-Mart-telemedicine.jpg” thumb_width=”180″ /]


Health kiosks, insurers–perfect together?

The real revenue stream of health kiosks revealed? The business model of free health kiosks placed in places like Wal-Mart and sibling Sam’s Club has to date been advertiser-dependent. Now SoloHealth [TTA 27 Feb 13]is adding an agreement in California with insurer Anthem Blue Cross to solicit name, email and phone number of individual users who want more information on insurance. They must opt in to add this, but it is not disclosed by the friendly animation (a doctor, no less) that a broker will be contacting them; to find out, the user has to hit a blue button–not the one that ONC has designed for personal health record access–to read two pages of disclosure, or wait till after they supply information. In addition, SoloHealth collects even more qualitative user information during its exams for blood pressure, vision and BMI. Here is the real gold mine in ‘dem der kiosks’–a fat database which can be sold as deidentified data without violating current privacy regulations. (Did anyone think otherwise? And what about all that fitness data being gathered by Fitbit, Pebble, Shine, Jawbone?) KQED’s California Report gears up into high dudgeon on the privacy issues.