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Report: National telehealth network proposed

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK Health insurer UnitedHealth Group and information-networking vendor Cisco Systems are developing a national telehealth network to connect patients in underserved areas with physicians via telemedicine technology, according to reports.

The initiative, known as Connected Care, features small clinics in retail outlets, pharmacies, such retail clinics as RediMed and Minute Clinic, and workplaces. A trained medical attendant would operate the telemedicine equipment, present a patient to a remote physician, and operate such diagnostic equipment as a blood pressure cuff, stethoscope, or an otoscope to look in the ear. The project also will use mobile clinics, with two vehicles now available and an undetermined number of others to be deployed, according to Health Data Management.

San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco brings to Connected Care the networking technology to enable the exchange of video, audio and data. Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group brings a commitment of “tens of millions” of dollars in funding and a network of 590,000 physicians and 4,900 hospitals from which to recruit participants.

Cisco recently piloted the program with San Jose employees over seven months. UnitedHealth Group will pilot, starting this fall, with its employees and local delivery system Park Nicollet Health Services.

Cisco and UnitedHealth Group also have partnered with Project HOPE to use a mobile clinic in New Mexico to provide remote consultations. Project HOPE will be one of the first implementations of Connected Care, with a goal of starting in the first quarter 2010.

The telemedicine technology is under Food and Drug Administration review to determine its medical device classification. The classification will determine whether the technology needs FDA pre-market approval, HDM said in its report.

More information is available at ConnectedCareAmerica.com.

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Kmart brings back Bluelight Specials just in time for school

BY Anna Mcgrath

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. Kmart’s “Mr. Bluelight,” the company’s renowned bargain hunter, is helping customers stay back-to-school-cool without breaking the bank, with the return of its exciting Bluelight Specials.

“We brought back Bluelight Specials last weekend and based on the overwhelming response and customer feedback, we’re introducing even more, new specials this Sat., July 25,” said Mark Snyder, chief marketing officer, Kmart. “It’s a priority at Kmart to continue to give its customers the opportunity to take advantage of our combination of quality, price and value on the summer’s hottest items and even plan for back-to-school.”

Kmart’s Bluelight Specials are taking over everything from patio furniture to schools supplies, with savings up to 75%.

For more information on the Bluelight special event, customers can follow Kmart on Twitter and Facebook.

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Fujifilm unveils new print services and fulfillment operation

BY Anna Mcgrath

VALHALLA, N.Y. Fujifilm announced that its primary U.S. manufacturing and distribution complex, located in Greenwood, S.C., will house a state-of-the-art digital print services and fulfillment operation.

The 500-acre property will undergo minor reconstruction in order to accommodate what is being called the largest Fujifilm manufacturing operation in the United Sates, and the largest Fujifilm distribution center in the world.

“Greenwood offers a number of advantages,” said Shin Kataoka, president of Fujifilm Manufacturing U.S.A., and head of operations at Greenwood. “Its central location and proximity to raw materials will enhance efficiencies. In addition, Fujifilm is already a well-established corporate citizen [in South Carolina] and has become a model of sustainability for our company globally.”

The new complex marks the company’s commitment to expanding photo printing and fulfillment operations after seeing a growing in the photo specialty business in the United States.

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