HEALTH

GNC announces launch of new daily supplements for women

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH GNC on Monday announced the launch of a new line of women’s products called GNC WellBeing.

The GNC WellBeing line is formulated to address women’s top health concerns, including strong bones, healthy hearts, stress reduction, increased flexibility, stronger immunity and better digestion.

The complete line is made up of more than 25 products, including vitamins, shakes, water mixes and energy/protein bars. The line also includes bath soaks containing salts from the Dead Sea.

GNC WellBeing debuts in GNC stores nationwide in early spring 2009.

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New mobile application brings together medical info., GPS data

BY Alaric DeArment

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. A company based in Englewood, Colo., has developed an application for the Apple iPhone that brings together medical information and GPS data.

Healthagen created iTriage, which provides a repository of medical information and lists local healthcare providers, based on GPS location.

The company has also partnered with TelaDoc, a company that provides physician phone advice and treatment, to allow users to talk to physicians and have prescriptions called into local pharmacies.

ITriage is available for download at Healthagen’s Web site, www.healthagen.com.

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CVS Caremark discusses role of HIT

BY Drug Store News Team

Concerning the effort to shift the nation’s healthcare system away from paper records and handwritten prescriptions toward a fully coordinated system linked through health information technology, CVS Caremark apparently gets it. The company’s leaders have shown a firm grasp of the potential for reaching patients — and keeping them involved in their own health and wellness regimen — through Internet-based tools like Google.

 

The U.S. healthcare system has evolved over more than two centuries from largely agrarian and small-town roots, where doctors made house calls and “chemists” compounded medicines and plasters for individual patients. Today, it’s a massive, complex patchwork of thousands of physician practices, hospitals, testing labs, clinics and pharmacies, most of which don’t talk to each other.

 

 

The result is a sprawling network of silos, most of them linked only indirectly with one another. Each may have a partial understanding of the patient’s condition, prescription drug intake, ancillary conditions, diet or lifestyle habits, but it’s rare for any single point of contact along that health care chain to have that patient in complete, real-time focus.

 

 

It’s like the old saw about a group of sightless men trying to describe what an elephant looks like by touch – one describes only the trunk, another only the flank, a third perhaps an ear. The picture that emerges of any patient within this uncoordinated health network is distorted and incomplete.

 

 

The strategists at CVS Caremark know that has to change. The company’s partnership with Google was a groundbreaking advance in health IT and integrated care, and its use of the web to survey employers and patients themselves is innovative and cutting-edge. No doubt, the company’s pharmacy and technology gurus will continue to come up with new ways to exploit the power of electronic recordkeeping and connectivity.

 

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