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Zipnosis partners with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System

BY Antoinette Alexander

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. and MINNEAPOLIS — Zipnosis, a virtual care service that provides online diagnosis and treatment for common medical conditions, has partnered with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System to begin offering online diagnosis and treatment.

The academic medical center will begin using Zipnosis’ virtual care service this summer. The partnership with UAB marks Zipnosis’ first major step toward national expansion.

By using Zipnosis, patients can seek treatment for conditions such as sinus infections, female bladder infections, pink eye and skin conditions without a clinic visit by using their computer, mobile phone or tablet.

“UAB is a leading academic medical center that has deep roots in delivering quality care. They recognize their patients are demanding new access points to UAB clinicians and we’re excited to partner with them in Alabama to accomplish that goal,” stated Zipnosis CEO Jon Pearce.
 

 

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Ahold to acquire Spar in Czech Republic

BY Antoinette Alexander

ZAANDAM, the Netherlands — Ahold has entered into an agreement to acquire Spar’s business in the Czech Republic. The acquisition includes 50 stores of which 36 are compact hypers and 14 are supermarkets.

The acquisition, which has and enterprise value of CZK 5,245 million, will be funded from existing cash resources and is subject to merger clearance.
 
This acquisition is in line with Ahold’s strategy to expand its geographic reach in both current and adjacent markets, and focus on leading market positions. Ahold has had a presence in the Czech Republic since 1991 and has developed the business under the Albert brand name.
 
"Our Czech Republic Albert’s business has continued to successfully improve the performance of its business during recent years. The acquisition of Spar’s business in the Czech Republic is an important strategic step and marks an exciting new phase for Ahold in the Czech Republic. It allows us to combine two companies that have a natural fit and that share a continuous focus on quality and value, and becoming a better place to shop for our customers. It will provide our large base of local suppliers access to an even bigger market, and I look forward to welcoming the associates to our company,” stated Dick Boer, CEO of Ahold.
 
Ahold currently operates 284 Albert supermarkets and compact hypers in the Czech Republic. Following the acquisition of Spar, the company will have more than 330 stores.

 

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The Travoltification of America

BY Rob Eder

“Rosie Edbrards.”

That, according to the Adele Dazeem Generator is the “Travoltified” version of my name.

Apparently, I am one of about 10 mil­lion unique users who, as this issue of DSN went to press, had entered their name into the interactive name genera­tor game that Slate.com posted to its site within hours of John Travolta having butchered singer Idina Menzel’s name at the Oscar Awards. That item, accord­ing to New York Times media reporter Leslie Kaufman, was “the most viewed article ever in Slate’s 18-year history,” she wrote in a March 6 article.

Granted, I am not much for awards shows, and prior to logging into Slate’s name “Travoltifier,” I must confess I had no idea who Idina Menzel even was, but I knew about the “Adele Dazeem” gaffe long before I knew anything about who won any of the actual Oscars. And that’s not because I start my days reading Slate.com. As the kids say these days, my Face­book was “blowing up” on Oscar night.

Joshua Benton, director of Harvard University’s Nieman Journalism Lab, calls it “the gamification of content. Take the same dynamics that lead games and social sharing to be addictive and use them in a way to connect to content,” Benton told the Times.

In the news business, some call these types of games “blatant grabs” for view­ers and say they come at the expense of real news. I have never been one of these news purists. The very best journalism is worthless if no one reads it. You can call it lowbrow if you want to — Slate.com actually categorized the Travoltifier as one of its “Low Concept” features on the site. But there is no denying the ability of these types of devices to breakthrough in a sea of online content providers.

Just think about that for a second: Amid countless reports about Oscar night, Slate.com got 10 million unique users to visit the site and become ex­posed to the other 50-odd stories the site posts in an average news day. There is a lesson there for every brand — re­tailers, CPG companies and content providers alike.


Rob Eder is the editor in chief of The Drug Store News Group, publishers of Drug Store News and DSN Collaborative Care magazines. You can contact him at reder@lf.com.

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