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BubbleBum preps for Child Passenger Safety Week

BY Ryan Chavis

ORLANDO, Fla. — In support of Child Safety Week, which will take place Sept. 14 through 20, BubbleBum is reminding consumers to always be prepared for the little passengers in their lives. BubbleBum is the first-ever inflatable booster seat that makes traveling easier for kids ages 4 years to 11 years, according to the company.

BubbleBum includes shoulder belt positioning clips in lieu of arm rests so that it's possible to fit three of the boosters across the back seat of a vehicle. The product meets all U.S. safety testing standards for booster seats, the company said.

BubbleBum retails for $29.99 and is sold online at BubbleBum.us and at Walmart stores.

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A&D Medical launches WellnessConnected platform

BY DSN STAFF

SAN JOSE, Calif. — A&D Medical on Wednesday launched its WellnessConnected platform to help people monitor their physical activity and better manage their health.
 
WellnessConnected is a complete, connected health system with built-in sharing capabilities that offer both the simplicity and affordability to meet the needs of consumers, as well as the security and precision demanded by healthcare providers.
 
“Rising healthcare costs and an increase in the incidence of chronic disease are incentivizing more health conscious consumers, as well as their families, employers and healthcare providers to find and incorporate tools that support a healthier lifestyle,” stated Terry Duesterhoeft, president and CEO of A&D Medical. “The release of our new WellnessConnected platform is in direct response to those evolving needs of the marketplace.”
 
In addition to launching WellnessConnected, A&D Medical announced a partnership with Salutron. Through the new partnership, A&D Medical is offering Salutron’s LifeTrak family of Bluetooth Smart activity trackers as a core component of its new WellnessConnected platform and suite of connected devices. “Blending A&D Medical’s deep biometrics expertise in connected health and wellness with Salutron’s pioneering wearable technology gives us the opportunity to redefine the connected health user experience,” Duesterhoeft said.
 
The Wellness Connected Bluetooth Smart devices consist of weight scales and blood pressure monitors, as well as the LifeTrak family of activity trackers from Salutron. All devices connect to Bluetooth-Smart enabled iOS and Android mobile devices, and the suite of products provide diagnostic readings such as blood pressure, weight, BMI, steps taken and calories burned. That data is transmitted through a user’s smart mobile device to his/her personal account on A&D’s secure cloud, and can then be shared with physicians, other care givers and loved ones directly via email or social media or through an A&D partner API.
 
The new WellnessConnected app – A&D Connect – is designed to enhance the end-user experience with engaging and easy-to-use features such as graphing, trending, unlimited memory, reminders and goal setting. Available free of charge through Apple’s app store and soon to be on Google Play, there is also a social component, letting users share what they choose through mediums such as Facebook and Twitter.
 
The flexibility of the A&D Wellness Connected framework allows wellness and healthcare partners to customize an end-to-end solution with the A&D Medical app SDK and cloud API. The cloud API provides a programming interface making it easy to connect to a web portal, third party cloud (cloud-to-cloud) or other back-end monitoring solutions.
 
“This new product offering leverages our extensive experience in delivering connected products to the healthcare industry,” Duesterhoeft said. “With WellnessConnected, now we can also meet the needs of consumers who are seeking better ways to track and manage their health-related goals.”
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What’s your strategy for diabetic patients?

BY Kevin Dore

The Centers for Disease Control recently issued a press release titled, “More than 29 million Americans have diabetes; 1 in 4 doesn’t know.” Diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases in America and, according to the CDC, more than 29 million people have the disease, a figure that has increased by nearly 12% in less than four years. Additionally, another 86 million people have pre-diabetes, according to the CDC.

Ann Albright, Ph.D., R.D., director of the CDC’s division of diabetes translation, says, “Diabetes is costly both in human and economic terms. It’s urgent that we take swift action to effectively treat and prevent this serious disease.” And, according to the CDC, in 2012, diabetes and its related complications accounted for $245 billion in total medical costs and lost work and wages — a 40% increase from 2007.  

These are a lot of statistics and large numbers to demonstrate a point you likely already know: the diabetic is a critically important patient for pharmacies to serve. Yet, with increased Medicare audits, stringent compliance requirements and reduced reimbursements, is servicing these patients really worth it?

Many believe the answer is yes and encourage pharmacies to proactively develop a strategy for chronic disease patients, especially the critical diabetic population. The challenges of billing Medicare claims, especially Durable Medical Equipment claims — glucose test strips, diabetic shoes and socks — can certainly be a concern. However, pharmacies should take a more holistic view, going beyond the revenue from supplies and prescriptions and consider the broader importance of diabetics.

In a recent white paper entitled, “Medicare Diabetic Supplies: Should Pharmacies Stay in the Game?” Tim Weippert, executive vice president of Thrifty White Pharmacy, said: “For us, it was a pretty easy decision, although sometimes painful due to reduced reimbursement. No one is going to make a lot of money, and that’s all some people thought about. You can’t look at it just at the product level. It would be easy to walk away. There is more to it than that – the patients are important.”

Thrifty White Pharmacy caters to diabetics with convenient healthcare services such as immunizations, medical screenings and health coaching. But it has also framed the discussion around the bigger picture: performance and quality improvement.

Despite the regulatory oversight and reduced reimbursement for supplies, diabetic patients are a critical population for pharmacies. As a trusted healthcare advisor, a local pharmacist has the opportunity to encourage adherence, provide dietary coaching and assist with disease management. While this is first and foremost an important contributor to patient health, effective strategies position a pharmacy well in the support of health plans and employer groups looking for partners to improve patient outcomes. Proactive wellness strategies for the diabetic patient just could open the door wider for pharmacies to demonstrate the positive impact they can have on patient wellness.   


Kevin Dore is a director at Emdeon, a leading provider of healthcare revenue and payment cycle management and clinical information exchange solutions in the US healthcare system. He has more than ten years of experience in healthcare technology. Prior to working in healthcare technology, Kevin worked for several technology companies, including Arthur Andersen and IBM Global Services.

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