Healthcare kiosks call to mind the dusty automated blood pressure machines that have sat quietly in drug stores for years. But the new generation of these devices offers a radically different experience — one that can have a big impact on the practice of medicine and healthcare marketing — if companies don’t drop the ball.
The new kiosks don’t just check blood pressure. They capture weight, height, and demographic data such as age. The kiosks can even test vision and connect into a live videoconference with a physician who, teamed with a medical assistant on-site, can use a stethoscope, otoscope, dermascope, and other diagnostic equipment. Moreover, they can quiz patients about symptoms, help them assess whether they can be treated by an over-the-counter medication, and prompt them to consult physicians about particular issues. Perhaps most critically, they can link into continuing follow-up programs that engage users via e-mail and other media over the long-term, not just during irregular kiosk visits.