Telemedicine continues to go mainstream as more pharmacy chains introduce remote consults within corner drug stores.
NewYork-Presbyterian and Walgreens are collaborating to offer remote access to NYP physicians on Walgreens’ website and at self-service kiosks at select Walgreens-owned Duane Reade drugstores in New York -- while CVS has a similar arrangement with the Cleveland Clinic. This builds on Walgreens’ efforts already underway with telehealth provider MDLive in dozens of states where customers can access U.S. board-certified doctors, 24 hours a day, on Walgreens’ site. Often these professionals are located in the same communities as the Walgreens’ customers.
The first NewYork-Presbyterian NYP OnDemand kiosk has opened at the Duane Reade store at 40 Wall Street in Manhattan. More locations will open in 2018. The kiosks are located in private rooms within the stores and offer examination, diagnosis and treatment of non-life threatening illnesses and injuries via NewYork-Presbyterian’s OnDemand Urgent Care program. Walgreens is using telemedicine technology from vendor American Well.
Patients simply touch a button to make contact with board-certified Weill Cornell Medicine emergency medicine physicians, who conduct patient examinations through a high-definition video conference. At the end of the exam, if a physician writes a prescription, it can be sent to the patient’s preferred pharmacy.
Consumers have grown more comfortable with voice-enabled devices like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. So much so that many are considering using them for one of the most important tasks of the year—holiday shopping.
According to a new survey, 38% of US consumers said they would consider using AI-powered digital assistants for their holiday shopping needs, whether that’s to purchase gifts for others, research deals or buy items for themselves.
That’s a higher number than the 17% who actually used such devices during the holidays last year. The survey reports that “consumers who used their devices for holiday shopping last year are more likely to use them again for the same purpose in 2017.”
One likely reason for this shift is that more consumers are comfortable shopping via AI-powered assistants, especially after having used them to shop in the past. Nearly half of respondents who had used an assistant to purchase something already said they’d consider using it again for holiday shopping in particular.
Now, for a little fun. Researchers put together a list of "holiday-themed" ICD-10 codes in recognition of the unique patient cases that spike in volume during this time of year.
For the list, researchers used a database of about 9 billion health insurance claims, focusing on last year's holiday season.
Here is a list of the number of patients diagnosed with these codes from November 2016 to January 2017. They are listed from greatest to least number of patients.
1. "Fall due to ice and snow" — 29,700 patients
2. "Fall from ladder" — 11,700 patients
3. "Superficial frostbite" — 9,700 patients
4. "Activity, sledding" — 8,900 patients
5. "Shopping mall as place of injury" — 2,400 patients
6. "Activity, cooking and baking" — 1,600 patients
7. "Fall from tree" — 1,400 patients
8. "Problems in relationship with in-laws" — 200
9. "Airport as place of injury" — 200
According to data released this month, the smart speaker category has hit a “critical adoption threshold.” Among US households with Wi-Fi connections, comScore said, 11% had smart speakers in October, up each month since at least June, when the measure was 8.1%.
The data appears to be in line with recent estimates for smart speaker use. In April, research estimated there will be 35.6 million smart speaker users in the US this year, representing 13% of internet users.
Amazon, which already saw a surge in demand after it cut prices on Echo devices on its Prime Day, said Echo Dot was its bestselling item on Cyber Monday, its biggest sales day in company history. Echo Dot and Amazon Fire Stick with Alexa Voice Remote also ranked as its best-selling devices over the Thanksgiving and Black Friday holiday weekend. And Amazon said its new $129 Echo Spot, which has a small circular screen for weather updates and other uses, is sold out for the holiday season.
It’s worth taking a moment to consider which font will best communicate your information. For example, did you know that Comic Sans is a faux pas for more professional situations. But what fonts should you use?
Hubspot analyzed the 50+ font types people favor, and how their preferences vary depending on location. Their analysis focused in on the top 25 most populated cities in America, since they’re the ones creating the most content.
Most fonts can be broken down into 5 distinct types: serif, sans serif, decorative, headline and script.
These infographics summarize their findings.
The U.S. Census Bureau today released its October 2017 new residential sales report, which boasted an average home sales price of $400,200 — the highest since March 2007’s average of $329,400. And new single-family home sales are up 6.2 percent month-over-month.
The sales of new single-family houses in October 2017 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000. This is 6.2 percent (+/- 18.0%)* above the revised September 2017 estimate of 645,000, and 18.7 percent (+/- 23.5%)* above the October 2016 estimate of 577,000.
The estimate of new homes for sale at the end of October was 282,000, which represents a 4.9-month supply at the current sales rate.
Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale says although the number of new homes for sale has moderately increased (+3,000), buyers won’t receive a break from excessive home prices in the immediate future. But she says the uptick in demand should rouse builders to construct more homes, leading to increased affordability down the line.
“The pick-up in new home sales should improve builder confidence and lead to more home construction, offering home buyers additional options and creating opportunities for current owners to trade into new homes, potentially unleashing existing home inventory,” said Hale in an emailed statement.
“The number of existing homes for sale according to realtor.com data are down 8 percent from a year ago in October and increasing availability of homes for sale would be welcomed by home shoppers.”
Other data from the Census Bureau and HUD:
Despite shifts, the day's results still matter a lot.
Adobe tracks 80% of online transactions at the top 100 U.S. online retailers, and said Thanksgiving day online sales rose nearly 20% to a record $2.87 billion while they rose 16.9% to a record $5.03 billion on Black Friday. In the month of November through Friday, online sales jumped 17.8% to $38.3 billion, topping its prior forecast. Adobe projects Cyber Monday itself will also hit record online sales of $6.6 billion this year, a 16.5% increase from last year.
Less than half feel they know how to use these tools to engage with customers
Recent research reveals that brands remain somewhat puzzled about the best way to use two-way conversation tools other than email. In fact, 48% of brand marketers surveyed felt that social media, chatbots and messaging apps were solid tools to engage with customers, deliver personalized messages and start individual conversations.
Or, in other words, more than half of marketers don't feel that way.
Marketers have so far used messaging apps, in particular, for customer service—55% of respondents said so. Fewer respondents (43%) used them for marketing purposes, and even fewer (27%) did so to put a shine on the customer experience.
Meanwhile, just 14% of marketers had used messaging apps for sales, an interesting outcome given how successful email has been in helping to drive conversions.
Research also found that Facebook Messenger ranked highest among marketers, while China's favorite messaging platform, WeChat, was a distant second place.
For many marketers, messaging apps don't provide a clear enough utility to warrant an investment. Some 58% of respondents said messaging apps simply weren't a priority for their organization. But a lack of in-house expertise in using them was also named as an inhibitor by a majority of those polled.
Follow the 20% Text Rule in Images
If you plan to boost a post or place an ad, make sure the image doesn’t contain too much text. Remember that boosted posts must follow the same rules as Facebook ads: neither can use heavy in-image text. If the image you want to use contains text, use the Text Overlay tool to check it.
In the following example, the tool warns that the uploaded image contains too much text, which will limit the post’s reach. As a result, the promoted post might perform poorly. Sometimes, Facebook doesn’t approve the ad at all because an image has too much text.
The number of Gmail users subscribed to marketers' email programs has increased by 76 percent since 2014, jumping from 17 percent to 30 percent, according to recent data. According to the findings, Gmail users make up nearly half (49 percent) of new subscribers – those who opted into a brand's email program within the last 90 days – and 38 percent of subscribers who opted in over the last year.
Pending developments in government policy around access to virtual care and reimbursement for services delivered are opening doors for telehealth viability.
Telemedicine is becoming increasingly popular as the financial benefits for providers who offer it come to light. And new policy changes in Washington and around the country are poised to rattle the reimbursement landscape and open big opportunities for hospitals and health systems to drive more revenue from virtual care.
“The U.S. has seen a perfect storm,” said Tyto Care CEO Dedi Gilad, whose company offers telemedicine tools. “With alignment of employers pushing for telehealth, you can see telehealth companies provide more and more services, and bringing more availability of services. It’s grown very fast and the major area of growth is primary care.”
That growth is expected to continue as employers, hospitals and payers realize both cost-savings and new revenue streams for telehealth services. A September study from Nemours Children's Health System examined the use of telemedicine to treat sports injuries, for instance, and found that each visit saves health systems an average of $24 per patient.
That’s just one example. And a lot has happened since then to start paving the way for telehealth expansion.
Three significant policy developments happened in November alone and, although they are not finalized, they point toward a future that providers should understand because it’s coming:
Apple is not the lone tech giant showing an interest in healthcare: Amazon, too, has kept a close eye on the market.
Analysts report that Apple may be poised to enter the mobile healthcare monitoring device, EHR, and healthcare data storage markets.
A June report stated that Apple was working to put health records on the iPhone, where iPhone users could easily access their medical records, including lab results, medical tests, appointments and other healthcare records in one place.
The more recent efforts appear to go beyond healthcare records, however.
Patent US 9723997 B, obtained by Apple back in August, for example, is an electronic device that computes health data of the user based upon sensor data regarding the received light.
In some implementations, the electronic device may also include one or more electrical contacts that contact one or more body parts of the user.
As described in the patent, “in such implementations, the health data may be further computed based on the electrical measurement obtained using the electrical contacts.
According to the patent description: “'Electrical measurements may be used to measure heart function, compute an electrocardiogram, compute a galvanic skin response that may be indicative of emotional state and/or other physiological condition, and/or compute other health data such as body fat, or blood pressure.”
Apple is not the lone tech giant showing an interest in healthcare. Amazon, too, has kept a close eye on the market.
Back in July, Amazon started a secret lab at its Seattle headquarters to explore business prospects in the healthcare sector, including EHRs and telemedicine. At the time Amazon was reportedly considering developing an EHR platform as well as telemedicine and health apps for existing devices, such as its Echo smart speakers, which connect to a personal assistant, called Alexa. It dubbed the project “1492,” the year Columbus first landed in the Americas.
Later, it appeared that Amazon was looking into ways to break into the pharmaceutical sector.
The type of incentive or offer retailers should consider including in emails depends on their business goal, according to a recent study. For those hoping to get their messages opened, less overt sales messages with no specific offer (open rate of 15.6%) or loyalty incentives (14.6%) had the highest open rates. But among digital retailers hoping to create sales conversions, the study suggests retailers should focus on messages like free shipping (7.6%) and “percentage off” discounts (7.9%), as these led to the highest conversion rates.
What does all this tell US retailers about how to boost the performance of their email efforts? The answer depends largely on the intended business goal, and the data suggests that trying to include too many messages in the same email message can be counterproductive. Start with a single objective and work from there. Trying to “do it all” in a single email message can ultimately backfire with consumers.
A recent study found out how US retail marketers plan their email calendars, and what sorts of campaigns they include. They give a lot of weight to what worked last year—85% of respondents chose this as an influential factor. A slightly higher proportion (87%) slot in major holidays and events.
Most of the retail marketers surveyed realize the risk in overwhelming their customers with too many emails. About 43% of respondents said they send one to two emails per week, while 46% said they send three to four.
But because email is such a powerful tool, marketers are being pressured by their companies to do more campaigns. While only 11% of US retail marketers said they send five or more emails weekly, the majority said they feel pushed to send a higher number to up their returns and increase awareness.
In many ways, discounts and deals seem to drive email’s success. One reason email is so successful is because customers know that marketing emails often include promotions. Three in four marketers cited the use of promotions to drive revenues as a source of influence when planning their email calendars.
Almost a third of respondents said between 50% and 75% of the emails they send include promotions. And one in 4 retail marketers said that more than 75% of their emails include some type of discount.
There are a host of factors that may influence consumers to make a purchase based on a marketing email, but sales or discounts are the single most likely driver, according to recent survey data.
A recent study found that 92% of respondents consider sales/discounts to be an important factor when deciding whether or not to purchase from brand’s emails.
Respondents were almost as likely to say that the brand’s reputation was also important. “Ease of transaction” was the next most likely response.
The study also investigated purchasing activity and found that roughly one-third of the internet users surveyed said they had never made a purchase based on a marketing email.
The youngest consumers included in the group were the most likely to say they had never made such a purchase, possibly reflecting their life stage more than any inherent reluctance to engage with email messages.
Older users, those 53-71, were nearly as likely to have never made a purchase. This may reflect the fact that older consumers have been slower to embrace digital purchasing in general.
eMarketer estimates that digital purchasing falls off significantly among consumers over the age of 55. In the US, among consumers 55-64, only 63.5% are digital buyers, and among those over the age of 65, the level falls to 43%.
By comparison, among those ages 25-34, more than eight in 10 are are digital buyers.
Teens place Instagram as their top social source of inspiration for holiday shopping, Adults name Facebook
A recent survey found that 13- to 16-year-olds were considerably more likely to look to Instagram and YouTube than older shoppers. While respondents ages 17 to 21 also favored Instagram, Facebook consistently ranked as the most influential social platform for holiday shopping among those 22 and up.
ecommerce sales are expected to jump 16.6% during the 2017 holiday season
US retail ecommerce sales are expected to jump 16.6% during the 2017 holiday season, driven by increases in mobile commerce and the intensifying online battle between large retailers and digital marketplaces. At the same time, total retail sales will grow a moderate 3.1%, as retailers continue to experience heavy discounting during the core holiday shopping months of November and December.The gap between holiday season ecommerce sales growth and total retail sales growth continues to widen. eMarketer estimates that in 2017, holiday sales will total $923.15 billion, representing 18.4% of US retail sales for the year, a 0.1 percentage point drop from 2016.
For the year, eMarketer expects to see 15.8% growth in retail ecommerce sales, with increases across all product areas. Ecommerce will account for 9.0% of total retail sales in 2017.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Cerner reportedly agreed to an EHR contract in the range of $10 billion, an unnamed VA source.
The $10 billion figure is significantly less than previously reported estimates. In late October, the Politico Morning eHealth newsletter reported a source familiar with the matter said $18 billion is "consistent with what we're hearing from VA, but until the contract is finalized we aren't 100 percent certain what the cost will be."
VA officials expected to award Cerner a contract for the health system's EHR in November, according to the Politico Morning eHealth newsletter. However, officials cannot sign a contract until Congress agrees to appropriations for the Cerner deal, FCW reports. The unnamed source told FCW VA Secretary David J. Shulkin, MD, met with appropriators in early November to discuss the final details.
The price for the Cerner EHR is lower than expected, in large part because of the VA's plan to coordinate with the U.S. Department of Defense, according to FCW. An unsealed decision by U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby, filed Oct. 18, noted the VA aims to adopt the DOD's EHR system to achieve a "single common EHR system."
The VA's Cerner contract is expected to be implemented in 48 phases, including site visits, user training and onsite support. The VA Secretary's Determination and Findings, as cited in the unsealed decision, noted "having the VA replicate the DOD's existing EHR system will allow the VA to avoid repeating mistakes and capitalize on the DOD's investments."
The Center for Connected Health Policy released its 50 state scan of telehealth reimbursement laws and Medicaid policies trends report.
Here are five report insights.
1. Forty-eight states and Washington D.C. reimburse for some form of live video in Medicaid fee-for-service models. The two states that do not have written definitive reimbursement policies are Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
2. Twenty-one states reimburse for remote patient monitoring under Medicaid.
3. Six states — Delaware, Colorado, Minnesota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming — recently added policies to explicitly allow the home to be an eligible originating site.
4. Nine state boards issue licenses related to telehealth, while three states dropped their telehealth licenses and adopted the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact last year, of which 27 have adopted.
5. Thirty-seven jurisdictions have laws governing private payer reimbursement.
Click here to view the full report.
Physical and digital cards notch gains
Despite the struggles of brick-and-mortar retail, the purchase of physical gift cards has grown for three consecutive years, according to new survey data. Digital gift card purchases also have risen sharply this year.
Research has found that US consumers bought an average of 6.5 physical gift cards this year, up from 5.9 in 2016.
Meanwhile, the number of digital gift card purchases, which had been flat in the preceding years' surveys, rose to 6.1 per person, up from 4.0 the year before. Additinally, 83% of internet users had used a gift card (physical or digital) in the past year. The research further found that consumers spent an average of $38 more than the value on their gift card this year—up $10 over 2016. And 44% of respondents said having a card caused them to go to a store they would not have visited otherwise.
Social media ranked as the no. 1 tool agents should be using within their first year (85 percent), followed CRM (76 percent). The social media platforms new agents should be active on are Facebook (97 percent), LinkedIn (70 percent), Instagram (70 percent) and to a lesser extent YouTube (63 percent) and Twitter (53 percent.) Facebook Live is overwhelmingly the live streaming platform of choice for agents (57 percent), far outranking the next best contenders, YouTube (17 percent) and Snapchat (4 percent).
Of the online marketing channels at agents’ advertising disposal, Facebook (81 percent) came the most highly recommended, followed by realtor.com (42 percent), Zillow (33 percent), Google (29 percent) and Craigslist (20 percent).
These platforms ranked higher than Trulia and Homes.com, while respondents also mentioned Instagram, Snapchat and LinkedIn as good investments.
A new survey highlights how social media content has become the new storefront, with 76% of U.S. consumers purchasing a product that they discovered in a brand’s social media post. The 2017 Curalate Consumer Survey also found that 40% of U.S. consumers shop online at least once per week, a number that rises to 52% for 18-34 year olds. Given that consumers spend more time on social media than any other online activity, this new survey offers new insights into the growing and changing role played by social in digital commerce.
New figures from Leichtman Research Group (LRG) show that the US's largest pay TV providers saw their video subscriber numbers decrease by a net of 405,000 in the third quarter. That was up from a net loss of about 250,000 subscribers recorded in Q3 2016. Meanwhile, the top two internet-delivered pay TV services added a net total of about 536,000 subscribers during the same timeframe.
More than 164 Million consumers plan to shop over Thanksgiving Weekend and Cyber Monday
A report from the National Retail Federation estimates that 164 million people plan to shop or will consider shopping over Thanksgiving weekend. Black Friday remains the busiest shopping day; 70% of consumers expect to shop during that time.
A Las Vegas-based MLS will shut off its listing feed to realtor.com on Dec. 18, citing a failure to come to terms with the News Corp.-owned website.
The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors will shut off a listing feed to realtor.com next month after negotiations between the trade group and realtor.com operator Move Inc. fell apart, according to a notice sent out to GLVAR’s 14,000-plus members Thursday.
GLVAR President David Tina wrote in the message:
“For more than a year, GLVAR has been negotiating with realtor.com and its owner, Move, Inc. in good faith in hopes of forging an agreement that meets the needs of our members. In fact, we’ve worked tirelessly to try to come to an agreement. Unfortunately, they would not agree to meet the same terms and data security requirements that GLVAR requires from all such vendors. In the end, we listened to our members, who have told us repeatedly that GLVAR’s MLS data must be protected so it can’t be misused by others.”
In the notice, GLVAR said that along with industry experts, it had developed data requirements that were “designed to protect the data, limit how the data can be used, ensure that the listing agent receives the credit for the listing, as well as a financial component.”
Realtor.com will no longer receive listing data directly from GLVAR as of Dec. 18, though brokers can continue to provide their own data to realtor.com on a individual basis, Tina said.
Jay & Julia Taylor own and operate Caney Creek Studio. Caney Creek Studio is a video production, digital marketing, and social media management agency.