Recent medical legislation and technologies have empowered everyday consumers to take more control of their health care. A new generation of accessible, engaging products are helping them make educated choices.
April 13, 2011
Shop Well Round-up: 5/7/10 to 4/4/11
The future of medical care is coming, and it looks a lot like shopping. Eleven months of SHOP WELL has shown dozens of examples of consumer intelligence working its way into health and wellness, with remarkable and sometimes encouraging results.
Some memorable examples:
Retail Clinics Fill Gap – CVS, Walgreens and Wal-Mart may soon be the clinics of choice for a broad segment of the US, offering quick and efficient basic medical care right in the store for a fraction of the cost of a traditional doctor’s office.
Consumer Reports Magazine Rates Surgical Groups – To the long list of consumer products and services reviewed by Consumer Reports, you can add heart surgeons. A rating from one to three stars lets patients shop around for the best chest cutter.
Your Mobile Phone is Moonlighting as an STD Clinic – A tiny sensor chip costing less than two US dollars will soon let users test themselves for STIs quickly and anonymously. The chip, expected to retail in English grocery stores and nightclubs, lets you take a blood or urine sample, then communicates the data via cellphone to an analysis facility, returning an accurate result in minutes.
March 28, 2011
Stress Test Your DNA
UC San Francisco researcher Elizabeth Blackburn has co-founded a company that seeks to sell stress testing kits. The twist? They utilize recent advances in DNA analysis to look for stress-related damage on the genetic level. A bit more involved than a mood ring, but way more credible.
March 21, 2011
An Emergency Room Built Especially for You
As baby boomers age, entire industries are shifting around them, and hospitals are no different. Across the country, medical facilities are revamping emergency rooms specifically to accommodate the elderly, adding hand rails, larger clocks, softer lighting, and other amenities friendly to the aged. While there’s nothing sinister about addressing the needs of a large population of patients, the idea of the “customized ER” holds some strange potential. Coming soon: emergency rooms for women? for sports enthusiasts? for the wealthy?
March 08, 2011
Where the Explosion of Medical Apps is Leading
The iPad has already shown up several times in the Shop Well trend, and with good reason. Besides being extremely portable and easy to clean — two traits crucial for medical environments — the tablet format makes shared use by medical professionals and patients far easier than with a laptop.
The deeper implications are just emerging, though. Laptop computers and desktops before them were both business tools initially, so their incorporation into medical practice had a strong sense of pragmatism. But the iPad and related tablet devices come almost entirely from the consumer electronics field, and this brings a fundamentally different set of interface expectations. Rather than technical performance, CE devices value user experience above all, and this is turning out to make them far more useful in high-stress, high-stakes medical situations.
As the Trends team watches the new field of tablet-based medical apps unfold, we’re naturally curious about where it will all lead. A shift toward medical technology that’s friendlier, more approachable and less intimidating seems clear, but the broader trend of consumer technologies showing up in doctors’ and nurses’ hands is even more compelling. What, for example, do housewares, gaming devices and cloud computing look like when the medical world gets hold of them?
Image via Surgisphere.com
February 28, 2011
Your New Hip Will Look Like This
Further expanding the role of the iPad in hospital settings, medical technology company Stryker releases an app specifically designed to help orthopedic surgeons explain procedures to patients. The free app includes options for Total Hip, Total Knee and Total Shoulder replacement.
February 21, 2011
NY Times Takes on Medical Websites
After years of recognition as the web’s most prominent source of medical information, WebMD.com has come under scrutiny by the New York Times Magazine for pandering to advertiser interests and preying on user fears. The “hypochondriac time suck” is compared to more staid, non ad-driven sites like the Mayo Clinic’s Symptom Checker, raising the concern that even democratic, patient-empowering information is being influenced by Big Pharma.
February 14, 2011
"Breakthroughs to Cures" Challenges Gamers to Tackle MS
On October 7-8 and November 9-10, thinkers and gamers will contribute to the research of the Myelin Repair Foundation to advance treatments and cures for multiple sclerosis through an idea-generating game. With an obvious link to Game Wise, the concept also makes the contributions consumers and everyday people important to advancing the body of research on MS. By inviting such a disparate range of contributors to focus their efforts in compact windows (only 24 hours), Breakthroughs to Cures hopes to garner ideas on ways to change the medical system.
Learn how you can participate in the free gaming event at Breakthroughs to Cures website.
February 07, 2011
Spray-on Skin Is a Reality
The Skin Gun lets doctors spray real skin cells onto burn victims’ skin, allowing them to heal in a fraction of the time required by skin grafts. When treatments this effective can be applied “like paint spraying,” how long until they show up in your home first aid kit?
Read the Gizmodo report, and watch the excessively dramatic video from National Geographic.
January 31, 2011
Food Labels and Grocery Store Memberships: Perfect Partnership?
Safeway has introduced FoodFlex, an online resource for Safeway Club Card members, that gives consumers tracking information about how their past purchases measure up against recommended USDA dietary guidelines. Consumers can find and compare healthier alternatives to their purchases and look at the overall impact those alternatives will have on the household’s diet.
January 24, 2011
The Myth of Consumer-Directed Healthcare
Do healthcare users make better decisions when they’re treated like consumers? That theory has driven many efforts to reduce healthcare costs over the past decade, most notably Health Savings and Health Reimbursement Accounts. But a newly released study by the Employee Benefits Research Institute shows practically zero correlation between consumers footing the bill and taking more responsibility for their health. The theory of the rational consumer—even when life is on the line—may be nothing more than a theory.
January 18, 2011
Healthcare, Meet the Internet
When it comes to accessing medical information, healthcare organizations could take a page from WebMD and other third party information sources who make visitors feel more like consumers and less like patients. A new study by PWC points out that users seek information from third-party media companies like WebMD more than three and half times more often than any other online healthcare information source. In short, the consumer-centric language and customizable experiences may be just what healthcare companies and government organizations need to connect their content to everyday people.
January 10, 2011
Medical Message in a Box
Medical bracelets can save lives, if you suffer from epilepsy, asthma or another chronic malady that strikes without warning. But they’re limited in length and, once printed, can’t be modified. Enter the Press Don’t Panic device: a small audio recorder that lets users leave detailed medical instructions in case of a medical emergency. Worn on a belt, handbag or shirt pocket, the PDP features a prominent playback button that can be pressed by helpful strangers, potentially saving a life, according to its manufacturer.
January 04, 2011
Sleepy Doctor? Reschedule Your Surgery
A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine proposes giving patients the right to reschedule surgeries if their doctor has been on an all-night call. The American College of Surgeons begs to differ. Who should have the most control over patients’ wellbeing? Consumers receiving treatment? Or sleepy doctors?
December 21, 2010
Medical Popup Shacks
It’s like a hospital-grade granny flat: MedCottage is a small living space loaded with health monitors and medical amenities where elderly patients can remain close to their caretakers in residential areas. This auxiliary dwelling unit can be plugged into a home’s eletrical and water systems, just like an RV. Plus, it’s half the cost of a year’s stay in a nursing home.
Read more about MedCottage at Springwise.
December 06, 2010
Futuristic Drug Delivery Patches
Patches can do more than just help you quit smoking these days. Pharmaceutical firms have been experimenting with heat and electrical activation and time-controlled release, making patches suitable for a wider range of drugs, with more control and less trauma than a traditional needle injection. Researchers in Korea have also pioneered “twitch-based” patches, letting them release small amounts of pain killer when flexed, thus matching their delivery to muscle activity. When patches let patients self-medicate this easily, how does this affect the future of over-the-counter medicine?
November 30, 2010
A Promising Cerebral Palsy Therapy Surfaces
Microsoft Surface has been a solution in search of a problem almost since it was introduced to a shrugging market, but now the high-priced large-format touchscreen system seems to have found a winning application. The size, flexibility and visual appeal of the format turns out to be ideal for children suffering from Cerebral Palsy, leading the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences to develop a series of custom-designed games that use Surface to help them improve motor skills.
Watch a video of the therapeutic Surface in action at Medgadget.
November 30, 2010
Even Inpatients Need On-Demand
Sheila Cahnman, Healthcare Practice Leader for architectural firm HOK, provides an update on the state of hospital patient room design needs. One of the more interesting points she articulates is the need for upgraded visitor amenities. These include web access for families who bring personal mobile devices into patient rooms, spaces for family gatherings and better food options overall. In-room, on-demand entertainment is also considered important for both patient and family use. Even in clinical hospital environments, it appears that affordances for consumer electronics are necessary to productivity and comfort.
November 23, 2010
A Digital Pen for the X-Ray Lab
Wacom has made digitizing tablets that illustrators and designers rely upon, for over a decade. In a slight but significant side-step, they’re now moving into the medical field, introducing customized displays that allow radiologists and other medical professionals to make notes and draw directly on medical images like X-Rays and MRI scans.
Read the official announcement.
November 15, 2010
A Paper Timer for Your Paper Test
It may be no great surprise to learn that important health tests like blood sugar and cholesterol have been conducted with paper-based testing strips for years now: the chemical-impregnated papers offer a cheaper, simpler alternative to traditional lab tests, especially in remote or impoverished regions. In an effort to improve their accuracy, scientists have now unveiled fluid-based timers that can be incorporated into the papers, allowing minimally-trained clinicians to time a test with 97% accuracy — even better than a stopwatch.
Read about built-in paper timers at ACS.
November 08, 2010
Your Mobile Phone is Moonlighting as an STD Clinic
In the past few years, we’ve seen mobile phones used to perform malaria tests, give eye exams and schedule medical appointments. But according to a recent announcement from the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, we may soon be adding sexually transmitted infection testing to that list. The Guardian reports that doctors and technology experts are developing a tiny chip, which will retail in grocery stores and nightclubs for less than two US dollars, that can take a urine or blood sample and return an accurate STI screening via cell phone in just a few minutes.
November 01, 2010
PEPID Clinical Info App for iPad Enters Beta Testing
The most comprehensive database of clinical information on earth—including pharmacological data, disease information, and plenty more—is now looking for iPad owners to serve as beta testers. It’s like taking 50% of what’s in a physician’s head and putting it in your lap.
October 25, 2010
The Sprint Top 10
Trend-spotting sites love Top 10 lists, but this is the first we’ve seen it used for medical devices. From timed-release “smart pills” to mobile phones that purify the air, here’s Trendhunter’s rundown of ten technological wonders that are speeding us down the path to DIY healthcare.
Read the list and glimpse the healthy, tech-y future.
October 18, 2010
Price Check: Health Insurance
Though launched in July, recent updates to Healthcare.gov make the resource more useful as a tool in deciding for plans, now providing information on premiums, prescription coverage, deductibles, co-pays, etc. But what shoppers will find most engaging is the ability to compare plans against each other and learn percentages of applicant rejection—increasing the transparency of these products to consumers as never before.
October 11, 2010
Health Savings Cards Get Local
North Carolina based supermarket chain Harris Teeter recently announced two flavors of health savings cards to its loyal shoppers. One offers 30 days’ worth of generic meds for $3.99, the other entitles holders to discounts on pricier necessities like eyeglasses, dental cleanings and X-rays, for $3.95. While national retailers like CVS and Wal-Mart have offered cards like this for a while (Wal-Mart even sells health insurance), the entry of a regional player like Harris Teeter may signal a coming trend for privatized health services with a local twist. Piggly Wiggly Surgical Center, anyone?
October 04, 2010
Medical Tourism in the Americas: a Step-by-Step Guide
Marketing blog Euromonitor looks at medical tourism from a business perspective, offering suggestions for spas (and physicians) in Latin America who are thinking of getting in on this booming field. It’s well-researched, data-rich and kind of creepy.
October 04, 2010
When Does a Cell Phone Become a Medical Device?
PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute recently completed a survey of 2000 consumers and 1000 physicians, and discovered that the penetration of consumer goods into health care may just be getting started. With over 30% of respondents indicating that they’d happily use a cell phone to monitor their health, and 40% willing to pay for a remote monitoring device that sends health information directly to their doctor — the days of the all-in-one communication/health gadget are waiting just around the corner.
September 28, 2010
Hold That Thought, My Hearing Aid is Ringing
Minnesota-based ReSound wants to reduce the stigma of wearing hearing aids by turning them into media devices. By wirelessly streaming music, movies and phone calls to your hearing aid — which has already seen great cosmetic improvements in recent years — they hope to blur the line between medical, entertainment and communication technology. With a US population that’s aging and consuming ever more digital media, how long until a hearing aid is just a specialized earphone?
September 20, 2010
A Simple Weight Loss Solution
Researchers at Virgina Tech have made an amazing discovery about a free and easy-to-use weight loss miracle. It’s called water. It turns out that simply drinking 19 ounces of water before every meal (provided it’s a sensible one) makes losing weight and keeping it off far easier. But in the midst of a multi-billion dollar consumer weight loss industry, is such a strategy doomed to failure, even if it works?
September 20, 2010
Google Health Update Focuses on Tracking and Training
The latest update to Google Health goes beyond simply tracking health information and doctor visits. The healthcare product’s overhaul now lets users set and track their own health goals, and even allows for personal health journaling. More significantly, it can now incorporate data from consumer healthcare devices such as FitBit (a wearable tracker) and CardioTrainer (a mobile app for tracking fitness and workouts). Meanwhile, Google Health continues to improve integration with major healthcare systems like University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Sharp HealthCare.
Read more about the collision of data, devices and health on Google’s blog.
September 13, 2010
Consumer Reports Magazine Rates Surgical Groups
Consumer Reports provides objective reviews of stoves, cars, mayonnaise and…heart surgery? In conjunction with the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, CR is now using criteria like survival rates and complications to rate different surgery groups on a one- to three-star system, further shifting medical practice into the realm of competitive consumer service. Even poorly-rated groups are participating, suggesting that it’s just a matter of time before public disclosure of such ratings is commonplace…or even mandatory.
September 13, 2010
Shopping for Contraception
As birth control options continue to proliferate, many more women (and a few men too) are able to make prophylactic decisions based on lifestyle and cost. This recent NYTimes article takes a pragmatic view of contraception, depicting it as a long-term investment with upfront and maintenance costs, and a landscape of competing products that can be selected based on personal needs. Empowering? Maybe. Consumerist? Definitely.
September 07, 2010
Losing Real Weight in the Virtual World
A new study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research finds that dieters who log in to Internet-based weight loss programs are more successful at keeping the pounds off than those who go it alone. According to researchers, the website used in the study encouraged better weight maintenance because it could automatically send tailored email and phone messages to remind users when they failed to log in regularly.
September 07, 2010
A Shirt that Unzips in Just the Right Places
The concept of ‘freedom’ has been used to sell fashion for decades, but Libre Clothing takes a different angle on the term. Rather than promising the freedom to be fabulous or athletic, Libre’s sweaters, sweatshirts and button-ups feature strategically located zippers that provide easy access to injection points for patients receiving chemotherapy, dialysis or other ongoing treatments. The reasonably-priced garments also donate one dollar per purchase to kidney research.
August 30, 2010
Josh Silver and Stephen Kurtin have both been working on adaptive-lens spectacles since the 1990s, but their end applications differ quite a bit. Oxford-based Silver works with the UN to deliver fluid-filled self-adjusting glasses to developing world citizens with little access to eye care, and aims to drop their cost to $1 apiece; Kurtin’s Trufocals feature a more elaborate, continuously adjustable fluid-plus-lens construction to replace bifocals, and run about $900 a pair. Despite the differing target markets, though, both are circumventing the optometrist by putting the prescription—literally—in the hands of the wearer.
August 23, 2010
Making QWERTY Clean
A perfectly flat, glossy touch-surface keyboard may sound like the latest thing to tempt Apple fanatics, but the Cool Leaf series from designer Kazuo Kawasaki has a very different audience in mind. Designed for medical environments, the Cool Leaf’s sheer face can be easily wiped down and disinfected, and looks fabulous all the while. Even doctors, it turns out, appreciate a little high design.
See more sexy photos at CScout.
August 23, 2010
Health Tourism Magazine
Perhaps nothing better illustrates the growing demand for consumer-focused medical services with fancy add-ons than medical and health tourism. The industry even has its own magazine. Health Tourism Magazine, the sister publication to Medical Tourism Magazine, is now already a year old and growing rapidly. Backed by the Medical Tourism Association, these publications feature not only information about health practices and procedures, but innovations in luxurious health spa experiences.
August 16, 2010
Healthcare? There's an App for That.
According to Health Management Technology (just a little light reading here in the Trends team), over 2,000 of the 200,000 or so apps in the iPhone App Store are healthcare-related. Whether the users are consumers or medical professionals, one thing remains true: healthcare information and analysis is being delivered through an explicitly consumer-oriented platform, using interfaces and interactions vastly different from professional tools of the past. This has major implications for the experiences consumers will expect of healthcare providers in the future..
Citation: Mobile apps on rise. Health Management Technology, 10744770, Mar2010, Vol. 31, Issue 3
Image via flickr user Photo Giddy
August 09, 2010
At-Home (or On-The-Go) Self Eye Exams
The NETRA concept, tested on a Nexus One and Samsung Behold II, uses a series of simple visual applications to diagnose eye problems like myopia and astigmatism, and can even recommend an eyeglass prescription. Eliminating costly equipment and expertise needed for a traditional exam, this could open the way to good vision to nearly any cell phone user—which is to say, most of the planet.
Learn more about this MIT invention.
August 09, 2010
The Consumer Genetic Testing Industry Strikes Back
Consumer genetic testing services like 23andMe have been offering customers a sneak peek at their own genome for several years now, promising inside knowledge on disease vulnerabilities, inheritable traits and more. A recent report from the US Government Accountability Office, however, has slammed the industry as a whole for being "misleading and of little or no practical use.” Are these the first shots in a war over genetic knowledge? Or just a squabble between regulators and the unregulated?
August 02, 2010
The Limits of Video Game Fitness
Turns out that there’s a limit to how far you can go in your quest to bring the gym home. A recent study finds that while it’s certainly safer to play your Wii at home than to lift weights, the health benefits are meager at best. Now that video gaming’s foray into the fitness market seems to have reached its limit, perhaps it’s time for fitness equipment manufacturers to stretch themselves into the digital realm?
Ready about why Wii Doesn’t Beat the Gym.
July 26, 2010
This Dole brand banana dispenser was spotted in the Japan. If health initiatives like San Francisco’s all-healthy vending machine laws (see the July 12 Shop Well entry) continue to become more pervasive, perhaps we’ll be seeing the banana machine stateside before long.
Find out more at japantrends.com
July 20, 2010
Anthem Engages in a HealthyChat
Anthem’s HealthyChat.com is an online forum that provides answers to individuals’ questions about the recent health care reform legislation in the U.S. The forum is open to anyone including those who aren’t Anthem members (yet). This insurer’s willingness to answer tough questions and make information freely available might just earn them a few more customers.
July 12, 2010
S.F. = Sugar Free
True to their roots, the city of San Francisco is taking steps to give their vending machines a health food makeover. The city has removed all calorically sweetened beverages from vending machines on city property, replacing them with 100% fruit or vegetable juices, water, soy milk, rice milk and similar dairy or non-dairy milks.
July 06, 2010
Your Medical Bill - from Walmart
A vision of the future medical bill, complete with agreements to remote procedures from India and a 5% Recreational Injury Tax? Seems likely, so take a look at Wired’s winning entry of what the future might hold.
Photo: Todd Tankersley
June 28, 2010
Health Care or Health Club?
Adopting the health club membership model, Qliance offers easier access to physicians and services for a monthly fee. Qliance even offers tiered services for those who want to customize their health experience according to their needs. The service seems particularly well-suited for people who demand close interaction with their trusted doctor—a bonus that is increasingly perceived as a luxury in the current health care experience.
Read more at Qliance.com .
June 21, 2010
For consumers who want to know more about their local hospital or institution of their choice, GE now offers an information system that illustrates hospital quality. The interactive infographics, based on data from the not-for-profit Joint Commission, visualizes 30 performance metrics for 17,000 U.S. health care organizations and services.
Check out your hospital on GE’s site.
June 14, 2010
Grow Your Own Probiotics
Probiotic concoctions comprised of ‘good’ bacteria are being rapidly adopted by wellness-seeking consumers. Most probiotic offerings come in the form of pre-packaged and processed foods. Now Progurt is giving consumers the means to make their own. Starting at $290, Progurt’s basic kit includes an incubator, branded sachets of bacteria, and other necessary components. Mechanical yogurt makers have had a varied adoption rate since their popularity in the ‘70s, but this is the first with such an earnest devotion to health and wellness, and hints of pharmaceutical messaging.
Learn more about Progurt.
June 14, 2010
Painless Glucose Testing
New technologies are making medical procedures more patient-friendly. One example: nanosensors that could help diabetics track blood sugar without pricking their fingers. When embedded into the skin like a tattoo, the minimally invasive nanosensors detect and signal changes in blood glucose by changing fluorescence.
June 07, 2010
High Tech, High Intensity Walking
Hand-held pedometers are traditionally associated with individuals looking for low-impact ways to improve their health, strolling around the mall or tracking their day-to-day steps. This student concept for a potential Nike+ “Straphand” brings a high-performance athletic aesthetic into the walking domain. It raises the question how services like Nike+, currently mainly focused on tracking performance improvements, could incorporate health parameters.
Read more at The Design Blog.
Image: Valentin Sollier
June 07, 2010
Healthier Hotel Stays
Most businesses benefit from offering healthier alternatives for customers. The hospitality industry was among the first to capitalize on spa treatments, bedding for better sleep, and lights for better moods. Now, a third-party manufacturer offers a replacement for the supposedly most unhygienic object in a hotel room—the TV remote. The “Clean Remote” is easy to wipe and disinfect.
See it on their site, or in a hotel near you.
Image: Clean Remote
June 01, 2010
Managing Health, With Joystick and Mouse
New health apps use learning techniques like visualization, play and competition to help patients to take control of their health. One example is Re-Mission, a videogame for teens with cancer where kids play by engaging with their disease, to the benefit of their health.
Wired reports on new health tools.
May 24, 2010
Is “Hospital Grade” the New “Professional”?
A recent report by InMedica finds that telehealth device shipments will exceed 2 million units within the next few years. As medical products associated with hospital environments enter homes, consumers will undoubtably want the best assurances of quality. Will “hospital grade” medical devices be the equivalent of “professional grade” power tools?
May 24, 2010
Podiatrist in a Box
Dr. Scholl’s new “Footmapping” service kiosk measures individual foot pressure points, and recommends the appropriate product. While it might not replace a podiatrist visit, the free service can help customers feel better in their shoes. And as an elaborate marketing tool, it helps drugstores and the Dr. Scholl’s brand underline their therapeutic competency.
May 17, 2010
Intra-Uterine Glamour Shots
As companies seek to make smaller medical devices modeled after consumer electronics, some are wondering about the implications of misuse. GE’s pocket-sized Vscan received critical comments that in-home sonography could be abused by zealous parents, despite its ability to improve the way doctors examine patients. Perhaps diagnostic medical technicians have more to fear than anyone else. Such is the price of innovation.
Read “Consumer ultrasound: Dangerous & irresponsible?”
Read GE Report’s press release about the Vscan.
Photo by (cc) flickr user sean dreilinger
Spotted by: Paul Longo, “Hospital Grade” Account Director
May 17, 2010
Paying for Health Care with Chickens
Tough economic times and increasing costs faced by consumers demand novel approaches to paying for healthcare. Even the idea of bartering for treatment is catching on. In fact, Kaiser Health News reports that bartering for health care services is now surpassing trading for auto repairs. While the idea may be audacious, it points to the need for a radical rethinking of the health services payment model.
May 07, 2010
Bayer’s new Didget glucose monitor for children attaches to a Nintendo DS and adds new meaning to the term “life gaming.” The device encourages youngsters to regularly test their blood sugar to unlock new game levels. Maybe the next rev will move from a product add-on to a more integrated solution?
Read more about the Didget from Bayer Healthcare
Image: Bayer Healthcare
May 07, 2010
An increasing number of U.S. women understand beauty as one aspect of their health, and the media (think Oprah and Dr. Perricone) has done its part to educate about this connection. Health-oriented beauty regimens and products cater to people who want to improve their looks in a holistic way.
May 07, 2010
Are Doctors Causing an iPad Shortage?
Apple Store employees note that doctors seemed to be especially interested in the iPad. “Doctors like it, because it replaces their clipboards . . . .They can show charts and reports to patients.” Although EMR devices have been available to doctors for years, it seems the iPad is sparking a conversion, making medical data more attractive and accessible to doctors and patients.
Read more at InformationWeek
May 07, 2010
Retail Clinics Fill Gap
Retail health care clinics are filling a market gap for a low-cost, quick and efficient health care solution. Common ailments like strep throat or respiratory infections can be treated at a CVS or Walgreens for as little as $50. With over 30 million Americans entering the health care market, these clinics are poised to start offering more sophisticated treatments for chronic problems. How will traditional primary care physicians innovate to compete for patients or, dare we say, customers?