HEALTH

Flu now seeing gains in the Pacific Northwest, Walgreens reports

BY Michael Johnsen

The Pacific Northwest is now realizing significant flu activity gains according to latest Walgreens Flu Index released Wednesday.

The Seattle and Tacoma, Wash. markets led the nation in flu activity gains for the week ended March 10, according to the report, with Portland, Ore., ranking No. 3. Similarly, the greatest amount of flu activity tracked currently across the Pacific Northwest was found in the Lincoln and Hastings markets in Nebraska while Omaha, Neb., ranked No. 3.

The top 10 designated market areas as measured by flu activity gains for the week ended March 10 were:

  1. Seattle-Tacoma, Wash.;
  2. Reno, Nev.;
  3. Portland, Ore.;
  4. San Diego;
  5. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y.;
  6. Monterey-Salinas, Calif.;
  7. Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, Calif.;
  8. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif.;
  9. Lansing, Mich.; and
  10. Toledo, Ohio.

The top 10 designated market areas as measured by flu activity for the week ended March 10 were:

  1. Lincoln & Hastings-Kearney, Neb.;
  2. Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas;
  3. Omaha, Neb.;
  4. El Paso, Texas (Las Cruces, N.M.);
  5. Columbia-Jefferson City, Mo.;
  6. Oklahoma City;
  7. Des Moines-Ames, Iowa;
  8. Corpus Christi, Texas;
  9. Davenport, Iowa-Rock Island-Moline, Ill.; and
  10. La Crosse-Eau Claire, Wis.

The Walgreens Flu Index is a weekly report developed to provide state- and market-specific information regarding flu activity, and ranks those states and markets experiencing the highest incidences of influenza across the country. The Flu Index provides insight by showing which cities or metropolitan areas are experiencing the most incidences of influenza each week based on Index methodology. The data does not measure actual levels or severity of flu activity.

The Walgreens Flu Index is compiled using weekly retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza across Walgreens and Duane Reade locations nationwide, including Walgreens locations in Puerto Rico. The data is analyzed at state and geographic market levels to measure absolute impact and incremental change of antiviral medications on a per store average basis, and does not include markets in which Walgreens has fewer than 10 retail locations.

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Fitbit unveils menstrual cycle tracking with latest smartwatch

BY Michael Johnsen

Fitbit on Tuesday unveiled the Fitbit Versa, a modern smartwatch that is preselling for $199.95 with an anticipated April 2018 release, and introduced a new menstrual cycle tracking functionality.

“As the wearables category continues to grow, Fitbit Versa fills a critical need in the market by delivering a beautifully designed, full-featured smartwatch that is easy to use at a very competitive price,” James Park, CEO of San Francisco-based Fitbit, said. “Versa brings consumers the advanced health and fitness features Fitbit is known for, along with broad compatibility across mobile platforms and four days battery life to provide users with a better picture of their overall health, making it stand out from any smartwatch available today.”

Fitbit is touting the new entry as the lightest metal smartwatch on the U.S. market with advanced health tracking features including 24/7 heart rate tracking, onscreen workouts an automatic sleep stages tracking. In addition, the smartwatch enables wallet-free payments on Fitbit Versa Special edition and carries on-device music with four days of battery life.

Fitbit also announced a new menstrual cycle tracking feature to help users keep track of their menstrual cycle, view holistic health data in one place and better understand connections to their overall health, Fitbit said.

The feature offers users “a greater understanding of their menstrual cycles in conjunction with their physical and mental health, as they start to recognize what are normal trends over time vs. what could be an issue to share with their doctor,” Katharine White, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Boston University School of Medicine and Fitbit advisor. “The nuances of the menstrual cycle have not been as widely studied across population as have other areas in healthcare. This exciting development by Fitbit could help potentially create one of the largest databases of menstrual health metrics in the world, providing healthcare and research professionals with an unprecedented ability to study menstrual cycles and women’s health with real-world data.”

“I encourage all of my clients to track their activity so they understand how it plays a role in their overall health and fitness journey,” Harley Pasternak, Fitbit ambassador and celebrity trainer. “Versa offers all of the features they need in one place to stay on top of their busy days, plus it’s stylish enough that they can wear it everywhere they go — to the gym or out with friends.”

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Emergen C debuts latest line extension to SXSW attendees

BY Michael Johnsen

Pfizer’s Emergen C brand team was on hand in Austin, Texas this past weekend to help shuttle attendees of the 2018 SXSW Conference around town.

Emergen C’s 15-person self-propelled bike was equipped with phone chargers and refreshing mist fans. And the nearby revitalization station sign-in area also featured personal back massagers to contribute to the larger revitalization experience.

On top of that, the Emergen C team provided participants with a sneak peek into the latest Emergen C SKU to soon reach vitamin shelves. Emergen C is branching into the digestive aid arena with Emergen C Probiotics +, which is expected to launch next month.

The new digestive health support contains 1 billion each of L. Rhamnosus GG and BB-12 probiotic strains. Each packet is guaranteed to deliver 2 billion live active cultures and a boost of 250mg of Vitamin C through the expiration date.

 

 

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