HEALTH

Vitamin Packs names VP operations

BY DSN STAFF

Vitamin Packs on Wednesday named Brad Schlicht vice president operations. Schlicht brings nearly 15 years of experience to Vitamin Packs as a seasoned operations expert, with success growing startup companies from initial concepts to thriving businesses.

Schlicht will oversee procurement for all vitamins and supplements with third-party manufacturers, manage inventory, oversee systems implementation and maintain Vitamin Pack’s packaging equipment.

“I had the pleasure of working with Brad at a previous startup – Organic To Go – where he grew the company’s logistics and operations from a primitive startup to running multiple delivery hubs across several states,” Jason Brown, CEO, Vitamin Packs, said. “I was impressed with his ability to deliver high-quality results then and am excited to welcome him to the Vitamin Packs team now. As we are poised to grow quickly in the coming months, we look forward to utilizing Brad’s deep experience in the direct-to-consumer industry to take us to the next level.”

Schlicht joins the vitamin company team from Essentia Water, an ionized alkaline water brand. Schlicht started his career in logistics and operations at Organic To Go, where he worked as the director of logistics to grow the business.

 

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Six finalists named for Ascensia Diabetes Challenge

BY Michael Johnsen

Ascensia Diabetes Care has revealed the six entries that will progress to the finalist stage of the Ascensia Diabetes Challenge, a global innovation competition that is seeking digital solutions to support type 2 diabetes management.

The six finalists were selected from 116 submissions that were received and were chosen by a panel consisting of external experts and members of the Ascensia Medical, R&D and Commercial teams. The selected companies will now present their solutions at the finalist event in April to determine the winner, which will subsequently be announced at the American Diabetes Association 78th Scientific Sessions in June.

“We’ve received entries from entrepreneurs and start-ups around the world who are at the forefront of healthcare innovation. We have been delighted by the quality and variety of the submissions we have received, which offer digital solutions that could revolutionize a number of aspects of type 2 diabetes management,” Michael Kloss, CEO Ascensia Diabetes Care, said. “We are now looking forward to the finalist event and hearing more about these truly innovative ideas.”

With type 2 diabetes currently accounting for around 90% of the estimated 425 million people with diabetes globally1, new innovative ways to manage this condition are urgently required to meet the substantial and growing burden to the individuals and our healthcare systems. Through the challenge, Ascensia is looking to support the companies and entrepreneurs developing the next leap forward in digital solutions that could facilitate better type 2 diabetes management and improve the lives of people with diabetes.

This global challenge attracted a high calibre of submissions from across North America, Asia and Europe, representing some of the latest technology and innovative thinking entering the field of type 2 diabetes management.

The following finalists were selected:

  • Foodient by Whisk: An artificial intelligence powered Digital Dietician that connects people to the world’s leading grocery retailers. It is being developed to help type 2 diabetes patients easily find food they love and is nutritionally tailored, so that they can make sustainable behaviour change;
  • GlycoLeap by Holmusk: A digital health program that is a simpler way to lose weight and lower A1c. It combines expert human coaching with mobile technology to empower people with type 2 diabetes live a healthier life. GlycoLeap is powered by a scalable, engaging and effective technology platform for data-driven, personalised health coaching;
  • QStream: A team-based mobile game developed at Harvard Medical School that can prompt meaningful behavior change in people with type 2 diabetes. QStream is proven to generate significant and sustained improvements in blood glucose control among patients who use it;
  • My Diabetes Coach by Macadamian: A voice first diabetes management platform that uses Amazon’s Alexa to help those with type 2 diabetes better manage their care. The data captured through an integrated wearable device, a mobile phone, and dialogue with the patient provides a personal and empathetic virtual coaching experience that is enabled through artificial intelligence;
  • Path Feel by Walk with Path: An active feedback insole that provides vibrational, or haptic, feedback to the user during walking. This can aid people with diabetic neuropathy in being able to feel the ground and achieve balance. Path Feel is a connected digital solution and integrates data from the insole, which can be used to personalise and enhance care; and
  • xbird: Medical artificial intelligence software that analyzes micro-movements, collected by smartphones and wearables worn by people with diabetes, and cross references them with historical blood glucose data in order to predict and detect potential hypo- and hyperglycaemic events. The solution creates actionable insights for both doctors and patients.

The six finalists will all receive a €10,000 cash prize (the equivalent to approximately $12,200 in U.S currency) to support the further development of their ideas. Following the finalist event, prizes for the winners and runners-up will be awarded from the total prize fund of almost $250,000 with the opportunity to partner with Ascensia Diabetes Care.

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Lil’ Drug Store Products intros Nicotac NRT option to c-stores

BY Michael Johnsen

Smoking cessation will be entering the c-store channel in a bigger way with a new nicotine-replacement therapy coming from Lil’ Drug Store Products.

“When we surveyed the distribution of nicotine gum sales in the category, it was clear the convenience store channel had tremendous room for growth,” Doug Marquardt, director marketing at Lil’ Drug, said.  “Since the majority of smokers frequently shop convenience stores, it is a great opportunity for Nicotac brand nicotine gum to help those who want to quit smoking.”

Lil’ Drug Store Products on Tuesday introduced its Nicotac brand nicotine gum as the latest addition to their growing portfolio of health and wellness brands.  Beginning on May 1, Nicotac will ship exclusively to convenience stores to help the estimated 22 million adult smokers who say they want to quit smoking each year.

Lil’ Drug will offer Nicotac in two nicotine strengths (2 mg and 4 mg nicotine polarcrilex) and a complete assortment of flavors including fruit, mint and cinnamon, the most popular flavor of nicotine gum.  Nicotac will be sold in 10-piece packages for a suggested retail price of $4.99, approximately 45% lower than the leading national brand currently sold in convenience stores.

Convenience stores are the logical retail channel for Lil’ Drug to launch Nicotac  brand nicotine gum, the Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based company stated.  Although convenience stores sell more cigarettes than any other retail channel, less than 3% of NRT products are sold in c-stores to help smokers quit.

Lil’ Drug aims to make NRT products like Nicotac brand nicotine gum more widely available to c-store shoppers by marketing the brand through more than 150,000 convenience doors in the United States.

The introduction of Nicotac into the c-store channel follows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “Every Try Counts” ad campaign that launched in January 2018 to encourage cigarette smokers to quit smoking.  The “Every Try Counts” campaign features ads displayed in and around convenience stores where smokers face a number of triggers that encourage the purchase of tobacco products.

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