ATLANTA, June 17 /PRNewswire/ -- SoloHealth, a technology company that develops and deploys interactive health screening kiosks across the US, today announced that the company has been awarded a $1.2M grant by the National Institute of Health (NIH) through its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program -- a collaboration between the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) and the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) -- to advance SoloHealth's initial product, EyeSite®, a vision screening kiosk, into a more comprehensive self-service health and wellness station. The new product will address highly problematic areas such as hypertension, obesity, eye health and vision, nutrition and diabetes. The grant, which is funded by the NCMHD, will aid SoloHealth in bringing free medical screening technology, education and wellness programs to a wider audience, including traditionally underserved communities.
"Health promotion, prevention and early detection efforts are among the NCMHD's priority areas of interest in seeking to improve health and eliminate health disparities," said Dr. John Ruffin of the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities. "We are pleased to support research projects such as these that will guide our research efforts in addressing prevention and early detection of disease in health disparity populations."
SoloHealth's Health and Wellness kiosks represent a new approach in publicly available, self-service health-screening. The kiosks are data-centric and use a combination of interactive health screening software and self-reported health information to produce individualized reports for consumers. The customized reports also provide information on prevention, coupons for relevant products and services as well as doctor referrals to drive consumers to follow-up care and treatment. The health kiosk operates in both English and Spanish, and has an analytics engine that is able to communicate to specific demographic and ethnicity. SoloHealth's stations are the only device with the ability to deliver specific risk outcomes, user education, action plans or local referrals for follow up medical care.
"With the recent health care legislation, 30 million previously uninsured Americans are about to become health care consumers, however, there isn't a corresponding increase in medical providers to handle this surge - SoloHealth's Health and Wellness kiosks will help close this gap, giving millions of Americans free and often, their first access to health care treatment and doctor/patient interaction," said Bart Foster, CEO of SoloHealth. "Considering that in the US there are millions of people with vision impairment, obesity, hypertension, pre-diabetes and diabetes, SoloHealth's kiosks -- a one-stop-shop for free health screening -- will play a significant role in disease prevention, wellness and access to needed health care."
SoloHealth's EyeSite kiosk, which provides free vision screening, is already deployed in high-traffic retail locations like Kroger and Schnucks in seven markets including Atlanta, Birmingham, Houston, St. Louis, Richmond, Madison, WI and Salt Lake City. Nearly 100 EyeSite kiosks are providing vision screening for more than 400,000 people to-date. Significantly, 25 percent of users reported never previously having had an eye exam.
"SoloHealth's Health and Wellness kiosks support the broader fundamental shift our health care system is making: moving away from treating illness and instead focusing on wellness," said Dr. Michael Frankel professor of neurology, Emory University School of Medicine, and chief of neurology and director of the Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center at Grady Memorial Hospital. "This unique kiosk is specifically designed to reach out to underserved communities and engage individuals in the process of creating a healthy lifestyle that includes an ongoing relationship with a health care provider. This is critically important if we're going to diminish the excessive burden of stroke and other critical medical issues in these communities. The individual diagnostic data for each patient that the SoloHealth kiosk creates aids physicians in beginning their assessment and treatment programs for patients."
The company plans to use the NIH funding to develop and broaden the deployment of the Health and Wellness kiosks and plans to partner with at least two national retailers later this year.
"Leveraging the self-service model to provide public access to health screening kiosks is an important transition in health care technology," said Francie Mendehlson, President of Summit Research Associates, Inc. "SoloHealth's Health and Wellness kiosks speak both to growing consumer confidence in self-service care, as well as an overwhelming need to bridge the health care gap in innovative new ways."
Launched in 2007, SoloHealth is a technology company that develops and deploys interactive health screening kiosks across the US in an effort to empower consumers to be proactive about their health. The company's flagship kiosk product, EyeSite, provides free basic vision screening, personalized wellness plans, health education and local eye doctor referrals. For more information, or to see a demonstration of the current EyeSite kiosk, please visit www.solohealth.com