In the United States, demand for in-store health services increased during the pandemic. One of the main reasons for this increase is the growing preference of clients/patients for practical healthcare facilities offering multiple services.
In addition, the increase of communicable diseases cases in hospitals is pushing patients to prefer smaller and less frequented health spaces. In-store health clinics manage chronic diseases such as asthma, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, as well as injuries that require urgent care. But these in-store clinics are not the only ones to get off the hook for health in the United States. Stores are reorganizing to provide care to customers and hospitals are changing in the face of this new competition.
Pharmacy chains, supermarkets, department stores and independent pharmacies across the country are expanding their in-store health service offerings to propose a range of products that compete with hospitals or medical offices.
For example, in some stores, customers are offered optics, dentistry, laboratory, health screening or physiotherapy services in the store.
This expansion of supply allows retailers and pharmacies to increase their revenues, attract and retain customers. This new strategy coincides with a growing need for convenient and low-cost health services for U.S. clients. These care clinic services are particularly attractive to consumers and insured individuals who do not have the time (or desire) to visit conventional hospitals.
Thus, many pharmacies and retailers partner with companies that specialize in a range of health care services, making them an affordable way to expand their health care services.
In the future, this new store supply will drive down health service costs and push consumer demand higher. Similarly, brands are at risk of investing more in telehealth solutions, which more insurers cover and which appeal to patients suffering from light illnesses and who do not have to travel.
As we know, in the United States, there is no universal health care. The U.S. government does not provide health benefits to citizens, and every time you receive medical care, you have to pay for it or be covered by excellent insurance.
The stores therefore offer a new alternative, less expensive than hospitals to their customers and health becomes a real issue in the war waged by the various American retailers to attract the customer and his data.
Four innovative health places
CVS launched an in-store clinic concept in 2019. By the end of 2021 a fleet of 1500 HealthHUBs will be open to the public throughout the country.
Previously, CVS operated 1,100 MinuteClinic that focused on “simple” health services such as colds or immunizations. The company realized that half of the patients who visited them did not have primary care providers. As a result, the HealthHUB model is more responsive to day-to-day needs, providing services such as blood tests and sleep apnea assessments. A MinuteClinic typically has one to two exam rooms, while HealthHUB has three to four. CVS plans to convert about 15% of its existing clinics to HealthHUBs.
HealthHUBs have digital tools to communicate health and wellness trends to try to attract millennials.
It is particularly important for CVS to embark on the new strategy as the retailer faces competition from Amazon in the pharmaceutical field and fights the decline in revenues from generic drug launches.
In addition to shops and restaurants offering healthy and balanced food as a tool for well-being and health, food shops are also looking to stand out to offer their services in this area.
Green Way Markets stores in New York State are hosting a 30-day health challenge to help customers get healthier in the spring. The challenge officially started at the Independent Grocer in New York on Thursday, February 18, with weekly advice, healthy recipes and the motivation of dietitian and nutritionist Jacqueline Gomes.
Additional features of the Health Challenge include recipe suggestions from a New York Times food reporter and recipe books to be won.
Participation in the challenge is free for all Green Way customers, who can participate via Facebook.
Similarly at Kroger, to help Americans eat healthier during the coronavirus crisis, the store launched a free «telenutrition» service through its Kroger Health branch.
The offer is part of the division’s “Food as Medicine” platform, which aims to promote better nutrition and smarter food choices to promote overall well-being and help clients with chronic diseases.
Participants receive a free virtual consultation via a video chat with a dietetic expert. They address the management of diet-related health issues, including weight loss or maintenance, gastrointestinal and eating disorders, and fertility, oncology and regional nutrition plans.
What about the animals?
The veterinary startup made itself known in April 2019 with a $3.5 million round table by adopting a new approach to veterinary subscription services.
Small Door started out after finding that veterinary services are often overloaded with work. So there are often long waits for patients, short visits, and enormous stress for veterinarians themselves. With its membership model, Small Door can give veterinarians more time with pets and reduce wait times for patients and their owners.
The startup has rethought the space of health itself.The waiting room consists of small nooks and crannies that allow pets not to be confronted with other animals considered threatening.
The subscription system offers different features:
- For dogs, the basic level ($12/month) offers same-day or next-day appointments, priority access to specialists and virtual care 24/7.
- Premium Plus ($89/month) offers two annual exams, basic vaccinations, an annual blood panel and other preventive care such as weed control, heartworm testing, etc. and delivery of preventive treatments throughout the year
- For cats, packages range from $8/month to $74/month, with the same type of offers.
When the hospital turns into a store with DNVB
HealthQuarters, an online wellness platform, recently signed a multi-site agreement with Mount Sinai Health System, one of New York’s largest hospitals. The result: the opening of a first establishment in New York in the Noho district. The start-up, headquartered in Union Square, has signed a lease on a 1,300-square-metre space to transform the hospital experience.
The new facility is a place where the patient will be reunited with Mount Sinai doctors and wellness practitioners brought in by HealthQuarters. Founded in 2019, HealthQuarters provides an online platform connecting patients to approximately three dozen health and wellness providers and services; Noho will be its first physical location.
This will be the first of three common sites planned in Manhattan in the first year of the partnership. The second is expected to open around March, with the third being launched shortly thereafter.
The “New Look” Hospital now offers DNVB brands and a design worthy of a WarbyParker store.