HEALTH

SoloHealth partners with Cleveland Clinic, changes name to Pursuant Health

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — SoloHealth announced Thursday a new collaboration with Cleveland Clinic Wellness Enterprise, a subsidiary of Cleveland Clinic.  
 
Using insights gathered from consumer engagements and behavioral change experts from Cleveland Clinic Wellness, the company has developed a highly convenient and clinically valid health-and-wellness platform delivered through health kiosks, mobile access points and online. The company now offers a comprehensive solution including health risk assessments, coaching, incentive management, challenges and an integrated lab screening network, all supplemented by non-invasive biometric data collected from the kiosks.  
 
Initial employer wellness programs delivered through this platform have achieved engagement rates as high as 91% for employees and 70% for spouses, proving that the high engagement levels the company achieves with publicly-available kiosks carry over to workplace wellness programs.
 
"We are excited to partner with Cleveland Clinic Wellness to bring our collective health-and-wellness programs to market, with new offerings for employers and health systems, in addition to our traditional focus on consumers," said Larry Gerdes, CEO. "Cleveland Clinic Wellness offers industry-leading coaching and behavioral change expertise that, coupled with the national SoloHealth engagement network, creates a unique health-and-wellness offering that is already used by more than 3 million people per month," he said. "Many health-and-wellness programs struggle with low engagement rates and a lack of clinical validity. Our engagement platform, in partnership with Cleveland Clinic Wellness, provides a highly-effective solution."
 
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to reach and support many individuals towards healthier living through our actionable, clinically-developed, web-based programs focused on nutrition, resilience and physical activity improvement," said Joe Sweet, director of operations and business development for Cleveland Clinic Wellness Enterprise. "Working with established partners to distribute educational content and programs is important to our mission."
 
SoloHealth also announced that effective immediately it will rename the company Pursuant Health (www.pursuanthealth.com) to better align with the company's mission of engaging individuals to manage their health and improve outcomes. Since late 2012, SoloHealth has performed over 73 million health screenings through its national network of 3,600 FDA-cleared, HIPAA-compliant self-service kiosks. The kiosks are conveniently located within major retail pharmacies, worksites and hospitals within 10 miles of 79% of the U.S. population.
 
The decision to change the company name from SoloHealth to Pursuant Health represents a more refined focus to develop programs that help individuals improve their health and self-manage chronic conditions. With the unique opportunity to educate millions of consumers each month, the company felt a responsibility to work with a leading clinical partner to develop content and evidence-based programs that improve outcomes outside of kiosk engagements. The SoloHealth brand will be fully-transitioned to Pursuant Health by the end of 2015. 
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CDC seeks more quitters with launch of 2015 “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is launching its 2015 “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign with a series of powerful new ads featuring former smokers who suffer from smoking-related illnesses, including vision loss and colorectal cancer.
 
Ads also highlight the benefits of quitting for smokers’ loved ones and the importance of quitting cigarettes completely, not just cutting down. Beginning March 30, these ads will run for 20 weeks on television, radio, billboards, online and in theaters, magazines and newspapers.
 
The CDC’s  Tips national tobacco education campaign has helped prompt millions of smokers to try to quit since it began in 2012. It also has proven to be a “best buy” in public health by costing just $393 to save a year of life.
 
“These former smokers are helping save tens of thousands of lives by sharing their powerful stories of how smoking has affected them,” said CDC director Tom Frieden. “These new real-life ads will help smokers quit, adding years to their lives and life to their years.”
 
In 2014, Tips ads had an immediate and strong impact. When the ads were on the air, about 80% more people called the national quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, for free help. Since 2012, Tips ads have generated more than 500,000 additional calls to the toll-free quitline number.
 
One of this year’s new ad participants is Marlene, 68, who started smoking in high school and began losing her vision to macular degeneration at age 56. Besides quitting smoking, the best chance for slowing her vision loss is a drug that must be injected through a needle into her eyes. To date, she has had more than 100 shots in each eye. “This will probably go on for the rest of my life,” Marlene said. “If I’d had a crystal ball many years ago, I would never have put that first cigarette in my mouth.”
 
The ads also feature:
 
  • Mark, 47, an Air Force veteran who used cigarettes and smokeless tobacco through two tours of duty in the Persian Gulf.  He quit in 2009 when he developed rectal cancer at age 42;
  • Julia, 58, who smoked for more than 20 years before developing colon cancer at age 49, followed by surgery and months of chemotherapy. She needed an ostomy bag taped to a hole in her abdomen to collect waste;
  • Tiffany, 35, whose mother died from lung cancer when Tiffany was 16. She quit smoking when her own daughter turned 16 so she could be around for important milestones in her daughter’s life. Tiffany’s ad will run as a public service announcement; and
  • Kristy, 35, who tried using e-cigarettes to quit smoking cigarettes but ended up using both products instead of quitting. Kristy then suffered a collapsed lung, and was diagnosed with early COPD before she quit smoking completely. 
Nationally, about 3-in-4 adult e-cigarette users also smoke cigarettes. If you only cut down the number of cigarettes you smoke by adding another tobacco product, like e-cigarettes, you still face serious health risks. Smokers must quit smoking completely to fully protect their health — even a few cigarettes a day are dangerous. Kristy’s ads will be featured on the radio and in print.
 
“All the Tips ad participants are heroes,” said Tim McAfee, senior medical officer in the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “By courageously sharing their painful personal stories, they’re inspiring millions of Americans to make the life-saving decision to quit smoking.”
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CRN to host webinar on testing supplement ingredients

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition and Informa Exhibitions on Wednesday announced the first 2015 webinar in their ongoing industry-wide webinar series. Taking place April 29 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST, the webinar “Testing, Testing 1-2-3: Product and Ingredient Testing in Today’s Climate,” will cover what companies should consider when it comes to testing and how to do it, navigating from regulatory through technical issues.
 
“Product and ingredient testing has always been fundamental in ensuring regulatory compliance and delivering quality products to customers,” said Duffy MacKay, SVP scientific and regulatory affairs at CRN. “But the recent actions against herbal supplements by the New York Attorney General’s office have put testing in the spotlight and companies are facing many technical questions these days. This webinar will help participants get a solid understanding of important regulatory and scientific aspects of testing.”
 
MacKay will moderate the webinar, which will feature four expert presenters, including: Dean Cirotta, president and COO, EAS Consulting Group; Gabriel Giancaspro, VP foods, dietary supplements and herbal medicines, U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention; Élan Sudberg, CEO, Alkemist Labs; and Darryl Sullivan, director of scientific and regulatory affairs for the Nutrition Chemistry and Food Safety Division, Covance Laboratories.
 
The presenters will touch on topics such as selecting and securing a third-party contract lab; avoiding adulterated material; the role of reference standards in dietary supplement testing; the importance of using validated analytical methods; raw material vs. finished product testing; and DNA testing and dietary supplements.
 
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