SoloHealth Powers Vision Services At Retail

In the increasingly more self-directed world of healthcare services, Atlanta startup SoloHealth is making a big splash – in fact, you might have seen them at a local Kroger. With more than 50 kiosks in seven states, SoloHealth is coming off a hot 2009, and looking to parlay that success into strong 2010 growth.

SoloHealth’s initial product is an in-store kiosk called EyeSite, which tests a user’s vision in about 3 minutes and provides an accurate vision screening. Included in the printed report are a vision health report, referrals to local eye care professionals and coupons. In 2009, more than 300,000 people used the kiosks, which gather demographic data and serve as an important lead generation tool for local eye doctors.

As CEO Bart Foster notes: last year, more than 30 million Americans with severe risk of vision loss did not receive an eye exam. EyeSite is not designed to replace the traditional eye doctor, but rather to remind folks of the importance of vision health and to encourage more frequent eye exams. In fact, about half of the disease-related cases of blindness could have been prevented with regular eye exams, according to The Georgia Association to Prevent Blindness. And survey data shows that 25% of users indicate they’ve never had an eye exam before, which is exactly why starting the conversation is so important.

SoloHealth’s early wins go back to the Las Vegas tradeshow KioskCom 2008 when they walked away withthree prestigious awards: “Best Healthcare Deployment”; “Best New Innovation in a Kiosk Deployment”; and “Best in Show.” Following that validation, the kiosk rollout began – including an April 2009 investment round to further drive geographic expansion. The continued success has catapulted the company into growth mode that continues into 2010 with the addition of more than 30 kiosks in St. Louis, MO and Salt Lake City, UT.

And the accolades just keep coming as Foster was recently named by NetWorld’s Self Service World as one ofThe Top 5 Execs to Watch in 2010. In conveying the honor, writer Caroline Cooper notes, “many of the trend watchers believe 2010 will see the growth of kiosk deployments in the healthcare vertical.”

For 2010, Foster sees increasing the number of deployed EyeSite kiosks, and the company’s first product extension into the health and wellness space. Given solid progress over the last 24 months, there’s every reason to think SoloHealth will continue its mission to drive “awareness, education and action” in the self-service healthcare market.

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