HealthSpot Unexpectedly Stops Operations

Medical technician Heather Roberts stands outside the HealthSpot kiosk that operated last year in Cleveland's Central Promise neighbhorhood. [photo: Sarah Jane Tribble/ideastream]

by Sarah Jane Tribble

Over the Christmas holidays, something unexpected happened to dozens of telemedicine kiosks that were available inside drug stores and family health centers. The company that ran them, shut them all down.  

The kiosks are owned by Dublin-based HealthSpot. On Dec. 28 the company notified its partners, including RiteAid, the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals that it would cease operations in three days.

Before the sudden announcement, HealthSpot had been the telemedicine darling of Northeast Ohio's medical community. The Cleveland Clinic had kiosks at two family health centers, two grocery stores and a university. RiteAid offered them in 25 locations in Cleveland, Canton and Dayton. 

HealthSpot's kiosks look like a space-age module about the size of two photo booths put together. When operating, a patient would step inside and use a video monitor to connect with a doctor.

University Hospital’s Doctor Andrew Hertz, who worked with HealthSpot, says he doesn't believe the business model failed. The hospital's staff was taking five to six calls a day from the kiosks.

"Telemedicine is here to stay, it will take many different shapes over the next decade. But I think consumers are demanding it. It's cost effective," Hertz says. 

HealthSpot has not returned calls and the public relations company that represented it as recently as September says they no longer work with HealthSpot.

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