Long before the COVID-19 pandemic shined the spotlight on telemedicine, medical kiosks could be found in department stores and neighborhood drugstores. The number of kiosks hasn’t diminished with the introduction of more telemedicine solutions. If anything, they are still as popular as ever. They are also quite valuable to retail healthcare operators.
They have proved so valuable that Texas-based CSI Health says corporate health clinics, military installations, and other non-traditional healthcare settings have embraced them. Medical kiosks work because they take advantage of some of the fundamental principles of meeting customer needs on demand.
Check Your Weight and Blood Pressure
Among the first medical kiosks ever introduced were those that offered consumers the opportunity to check their own weight and blood pressure. Indeed, blood pressure kiosks were all the rage back in the 1980s. Every corner drugstore had one. Most still do.
Such kiosks are attractive because they allow customers to check their blood pressure in a non-threatening environment. They just sit down, attach the blood pressure cuff, and push a button. In short order they get an accurate reading without having to interact with a doctor or nurse.
Therein lies the first clue explaining why medical kiosks are so valuable. They tap into the inherent dislike so many people have for doctor’s offices. Medical kiosks are less intimidating. They do not offer unsolicited advice. You do not have to sit in a waiting room for an hour or more to use one.
Taking Advantage of Foot Traffic
From the retail operator’s standpoint, the most attractive feature of the medical kiosk is its ability to take full advantage of foot traffic. If you understand that principle, you understand why big-box department stores with medical kiosks install those kiosks in the health and beauty section. If there is a pharmacy involved, you can bet at least one kiosk will be installed within a few steps of the pharmacy counter.
Foot traffic generates interest. It also generates revenue. So while it is true that most people who walk by a medical kiosk in a retail setting will not stop to use it, enough consumers will to make it profitable.
Taking Advantage of Impulse
As strange as it sounds, retail healthcare providers have to do what they do based on sound business principles. And in the retail setting, a lot of revenue is generated by impulse. Medical kiosk manufacturers get that. They design their kiosks accordingly.
If you have ever used a blood pressure kiosk, ask yourself this: did you plan on using it before you entered the retail establishment? If not, it was likely impulse that led you to sit down and measure your blood pressure. You saw the kiosk and responded to the impulse to know what your blood pressure is.
This is valuable to retail healthcare inasmuch as people are tempted to not seek medical care until they know something is wrong. Taking advantage of impulse encourages people to investigate their current state of health even if they have no reason to believe there could be a problem. Someone innocently using a blood pressure kiosk out of curiosity could discover that they have hypertension. That would be motivation to pop in and see the clinic’s doctor.
Medical kiosks are obviously no substitute for doctor-provided care. But they can be a valuable tool for helping people maintain their health. That benefits retail medicine. Medical kiosks are valuable because they engage consumers, generate revenues, and allow people to seek certain healthcare services on their own terms. It all adds up to good things for both consumers and retail operators.