HealthSpot’s Pursuit to Provide Global Healthcare Access Through Telemedicine
HealthSpot Station was a well-received business concept and revolutionary blend of healthcare and technology that minimised cost, hassle, and waiting time to see a doctor. Patients could visit their local pharmacy, enter a private, futuristic-looking, 40 square-foot, blue and white pod, be diagnosed by a doctor via video-conference and receive a prescription all within an average appointment time of 15 minutes. The HealthSpot Station had the potential to provide medicine to the masses, with the kiosks being deployed in developing countries and remote areas of the world. With ‘rave’ reviews from physicians and patients, $54 million in funding from corporations and other influential backers, and a contract with the number three pharmacy chain in the U.S, the HealthSpot Station was destined for success. So why did the company declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy after just five years? Understanding the process and causes provides cautionary insights for innovators within the telemedicine industry, and the lessons learnt may enhance the success of future endeavours. This case study will explore the factors that led to the demise of HealthSpot Inc.
Suchetka D. 2012. Ohio company HealthSpot creates the doctor’s visit of the future with the Care4 Station. The Plain Dealer. Available at: https://www.cleveland.com/healthfit/2012/07/ohio_company_creates_the_docto.html accessed 15 July 2019.
Consumer Electronics Association. 2013. HealthSpot and Bruce Borenstein honored as CEA’s innovation entrepreneur award winners. BusinessWire. Available at: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20131022005092/en/healthspot-Bruce-Borenstein-Honored-CEA%E2%80%99s-Innovation-Entrepreneur accessed 15 July 2019.
Alexander D. 2014. Kiosk company wants to bring the doctor's office to workplaces, pharmacies and impoverished villages. Forbes Magazine. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/danalexander/2014/02/17/kiosk-company-wants-to-bring-the-doctors-office-to-workplaces-pharmacies-and-impoverished-villages/#766d065731c2 accessed 15 July 2019.
Forbes. 2014. Masters of innovation: Steve Cashman & John Nottingham. Forbes Media. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/video/3920141596001/#1796cabc3dcd accessed 15 July 2019.
Youtube. Healthspot demo. 2015. Youtube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=argC-JM593w accessed 15 July 2019.
Caldwell N, Srebotnjak T, Wang T, Hsia R. 2013. “How much will I get charged for this?” Patient charges for top ten diagnoses in the emergency department. Plos One 2013; 8(2):e55491. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055491.
The Plain Dealer. 2015. First 25 Ohio-developed telemedicine kiosks open in Northeast Ohio RiteAids: HealthSpot. Available at: https://www.cleveland.com/business/2015/07/the_first_25_ohio-developed_te.html accessed 15 July 2019.
Crunchbase. 2015. Healthspot Funding Rounds. Available at: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/healthspot#section-funding-rounds accessed 15 July 2019. Columbus Business Journal. 2012.
HealthSpot hopes compact kiosks can be next big thing in medicine. Available at: https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/print-edition/2012/02/03/healthspot-investors-belive-company.html?s=print accessed 15 July 2019.
Dyer J. 2018. Creating a diabetes technology kiosk in the clinic. Practical Diabetology. Available at: https://cdn.diabetesselfmanagement.com/2018/03/Practical-Diabetology-MarchApril-2018.pdf
Cooper B. 2015. Predicting the future of kiosks. KioskMarketplace.com. Available at: https://www.kioskmarketplace.com/articles/predicting-the-future-of-kiosks/ accessed 16 October 2019.
Jones R. The role of health kiosks in 2009: Literature and informant review. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2009;6(6):1818–1855. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph6061818.
World Health Organization. (2016). Life expectancy increased by 5 years since 2000, but health inequalities persist. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/19-05-2016-life-expectancy-increased-by-5-years-since-2000-but-health-inequalities-persist accessed 15 July 2019.
HuffPost. 2013. Daughter’s ear infection prompts HealthSpot founder to reinvent healthcare. Available at: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/healthspot-founder-steve-cashman_n_3348553 accessed 15 July 2019.
Alexander D. 2014. Kiosk company wants to bring the doctor's office to workplaces, pharmacies and impoverished villages. Forbes Magazine. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/danalexander/2014/02/17/kiosk-company-wants-to-bring-the-doctors-office-to-workplaces-pharmacies-and-impoverished-villages/#7b7c0df431c2 accessed 15 July 2019.
U.S. Census Bureau. 2018. Health care coverage in the United States: 2017. Table HIC-4. Available at: https://www.census.gov/library/publications/2018/demo/p60-264.html accessed 15 July 2019.
Association of American Medical Colleges. 2019. New findings confirm predictions on physician shortage. Available at: https://news.aamc.org/press-releases/article/2019-workforce-projections-update/ accessed 15 July 2019.
U.S. Census Bureau. 2018. The graying of America: More older adults than kids by 2035. Available at: https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2018/03/graying-america.html accessed 15 July 2019.
Center for Connected Health Policy. 2019. State telehealth laws & reimbursement policies. Available at: https://www.cchpca.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/cchp_report_MASTER_spring_2019_FINAL.pdf accessed 16 October 2019.
CBInsights. 2016. Digital health funding hits new highs in 2015, reaching nearly $6B. Available at: https://www.cbinsights.com/research/digital-health-funding-2015/ accessed 15 July 2019.
Polinski J, Barker T, Gagliano N, et. al. Patients’ satisfaction with and preference for telehealth visits. J Gen Intern Med 2016;31(3):269-275. doi: 10.1007/s11606-015-3489-x.
Irwin K. 2015. Patient interest in adopting telemedicine: IndustryView 2015. Software Advice. Available at: https://www.softwareadvice.com/medical/industryview/telemedicine-report-2015/ accessed 15 July 2019.
American Hospital Association. 2015. The promise of telehealth for hospitals, health systems and their communities. Available at: https://www.aha.org/system/files/research/reports/tw/15jan-tw-telehealth.pdf accessed 15 July 2019.
Cohan P. Disciplined growth strategies: Insights from the growth trajectories of successful and unsuccessful companies. New York, NY: Apress, 2017, p. 161.
Ghose C. 2016. HealthSpot CEO, executive team salaries outstripped revenue. Columbus Business First. Available at: https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/blog/2016/01/healthspot-ceo-executive-team-salaries-outstripped.html accessed 15 July 2019.
Ghose C. 2016. HealthSpot’s stalking horse bidder says business is viable: ‘terribly disappointed’ with execs’ overspending. Columbus Business First. Available at: https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/blog/2016/06/healthspots-stalking-horse-bidder-says-business-is.html accessed 15 July 2019.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Ohio. Bankruptcy Petition #:2:16-bk-50183. 2016. Available at: https://medcitynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/HealthSpot-Filed-Petition-Schedules-and-Statement-of-Financial-Affairs-1.pdf accessed 15 July 2019.
Health Tech Digital. 2019. Why do digital health start-ups fail. Available at: https://www.healthtechdigital.com/why-do-digital-health-start-ups-fail/ accessed 15 October 2019.
Crunchbase. 2018. Series C - Doctor on Demand. Available at: https://www.crunchbase.com/funding_round/doctor-on-demand-series-c--74dc7611#section-overview accessed on 17 October 2019.
Versel N. 2016. Rite Aid picks up bankrupt HealthSpot’s assets for just $1.15M. MedCity News. Available at: https://medcitynews.com/2016/06/rite-aid-healthspot/ accessed 15 July 2019.
Copyright (c) 2019 Michael Kountze, Ryan Lunsford
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.