Higi- The new healthcare superstation at Publix

Written by: Philip Bonet, Class of 2015

I recently walked into my local Publix grocery store intent on purchasing a few veggies, some fruit, chicken, and a bottle of wine. I was walking near the pharmacy and in the corner of my eye I saw a new machine where the old blood pressure machine used to be located. I’m a bit of tech junky and since I’m also a 3rd year pharmacy student I decided to check it out.

The machine has the word “higi” on it and has a touch display which allows users to use the machine anonymously, sign up with a profile, or log in to a registered profile. The machine is equipped with a blood pressure cuff, a scale built into the seat, a BMI calculator, and a heart rate monitor. The machine displays all the data collected and also calculates a proprietary “higi Score” that breaks down various health aspects into a simple number to help the average person understand their vital statistics. Using the machine anonymously allows users to check their stats in a few minutes. The real benefit of the machine comes from creating a profile which will keep track of your stats over the long term. You can email or download your stats to a mobile device so that you can bring them in to your doctor on your next visit.

The machine also has a smart phone app, which has some promising benefits. It allows users with profiles to keep track of their stats and “higi Score” in easy to read histograms and graphs and claims to have the ability to read photos that are uploaded to the higi server and estimate the healthiness of meals and activities. It can also connect to social media so your friends can follow you along your journey to a healthier you.

Machines with these kinds of capabilities are no doubt going to become more prevalent and more advanced. There is a large potential to make a positive impact in people’s lives by helping them better monitor their vital statistics and track them for years, decades, and lifetimes.

The ability to collect this information on a monthly basis from patients while they receive their refill medications will help pharmacists make clinical interventions with physicians in a timely manner to improve patient outcomes. For example, having the ability to track and monitor patient’s blood pressures each time they pick up their refill medications has the potential to allow pharmacists to alert physicians sooner than the next office visit if the patient is not responding well enough to the drug after several months. This will enable pharmacists to make interventions to help patients reach their therapeutic goals.

For more information on higi visit the higi Official Website!