InforMed Centers fills the need of the general public for information regarding general wellbeing. The continuing trend toward popular concern over health and fitness indicates a need for ways to ascertain and improve the level of people’s health. Whereas a broad spectrum of diagnostic tests for illness exist, tests and know how relating to early illness detection, health education, preventive mental and social health and improving general wellbeing are not generally available. InforMed Centers will provide these tests and information at low cost, in public places with high visibility and high traffic, and with maximum convenience to the client.
InforMed Centers is a company based on thirty years of research, development and practice of Giovanni A. Pupillo M.D., an internist and cardiologist who has spent much of his life and career in the study of physiological, nutritional, psychological and social causes of heart disease. The philosophical and scientific grounding of InforMed Centers are based on the following:
a) people have the ability to affect, and to some degree control, their physical and mental conditions;
b) today’s medical scientific paradigm is evolving from a strictly engineering and physiological approach to a more human, informational and interactive approach for disease, health and wellbeing;
c) the existing gap between technology and humanism will be filled by the use of computers and other information technologies.
The services and products that InforMed Centers will provide are dedicated to Early Disease Detection, Health Education and Mental and Social Health.
They include among others: quality of life, stop smoking, cholesterol reduction, eating well, stress management and other workshops; instant and multiple health screenings and profiles which inquire into heart, lung, nervous, musculoskeletal and psychological health risk factors; mental and social health counseling and preventive wellbeing seminars; retail of health information tools and do-it-yourself home health devices. The services and products will be offered in the InforMed Centers Network.
More important than its uniqueness, the InforMed Centers System is complete and standardized. It is from this complete system that the packaged, straightforward screening, counseling and retail services offered by the InforMed Centers has emerged.
The awareness that illness can be prevented makes itself evident through the dramatic public response to the popularization of knowledge about health education and wellness. Witness the massive upward trend in fitness activities in the late 1970s and 1980s and the current dietary phenomenon of nutrition information and dietary changes bran in response to information about cholesterol which is now coming to light.
Wellnet, Inc. will operate in shopping and strip malls, offering quick testing and information about test results under the name of InforMed Centers. The menu of services to the customer, known as Health Strategies “Health by choice… not by accident “, offers screenings for cholesterol levels, lipid profile, blood hemoglobin, liver, heart and kidney function, and some immune functions, and is delivered quickly and inexpensively. Clients who test abnormally, or who request further support in attaining peak physical condition are referred to physicians whose practices are oriented toward preventive and rehabilitative medicine.
The menu will make available to the consumer:
1) SCREENINGS such as Cholesterol, Anemia, Pregnancy, Body Composition, Strep and Mono Tests, HIV and other STD’s
2) PROFILES such as the Medical Risk Analysis, The Health Index, the Nutrition Profiles, etc.;
3) ANALYSIS such as the Depression Inventory, the Anxiety Index and the Stress Management Analysis and
4) PROGRAMS such as the Eating Well and the Quality of Life Programs, the Conversation for Health and all other Programs developed by the Centers.
Retailing of health and wellness products will take place in the same Center as the testing and counseling, and will be designed to reinforce the testing business.
As the Center grows, it will expand the services and programs offered and the locations in which they will be provided. By the end of the first year of operation, an overall physical and lifestyle exam will be provided by appointment at most locations. Also, this examination, the Personal Prevention Study will be provided in cooperation with health clubs and fitness centers.
Early disease detection in shopping and strip malls will focus on screenings such as cholesterol levels, the lipid profile and spirometry testing, which indicate cardiovascular wellbeing, blood hemoglobin content and blood sugar levels, which point out the presence of anemia or diabetes, liver and kidney function tests, mammograms, E K G’s (electrocardiograms) and body fat testing and other screenings. All these tests are based on providing assurance for healthy people about their physical condition and early correction for people whose physical condition is deteriorating.
It must be clear that the Centers are not engaged in making medical diagnosis but are exclusively concerned in giving people information on health and prevention.
For those people looking for a physical edge, the Wellnet InforMed Center will be able to provide cardiac stress testing, maximum oxygen consumption, lipid and body fat profiles and fitness evaluations. These tests, rather than focusing on the concern for preventing illness, provide a tool for individuals who view themselves as athletes and for those healthy individuals who wish to maximize their physical fitness.
Wellnet intends to open several Centers in Northeastern Ohio almost simultaneously. Each site will be staffed by a supervisor and one or two technicians. Testing equipment will include up to three pinprick blood testing devices for cholesterol, anemia, blood sugar and other screens and for scheduled profiles of a more extensive nature, an EKG (electro-cardiogram, a spirometer, a body composition analysis and electro-lipogram, a mammogram equipment and other optional screening devices.
Due to the trend toward health consciousness in America, we predict extensive availability of, and access to, free media coverage.
One of the screening equipment suppliers has developed a systematic marketing program for lipid profile testing services which attract 1% of the targeted geographic area to nine day long cholesterol screening programs. This Company would be available to cooperate with Wellnet in a week end promotional blitz.
The Wellnet InforMed Centers will supplement this publicity with a heavy initial ad campaign of their own, which will attract customers for other tests and services besides cholesterol. This professional ad campaign will be ongoing.
InforMed Centers INDUSTRY
The diagnostic testing industry is dominated by private physicians operating from their offices and in conjunction with hospitals and medical centers.
When looking to determine if a market segment existed which was unserved by this combination of three traditional sites for providing medical care, we sought a survey of consumers which would indicate their preference for location of testing. The conclusion was startling: The Morbidity and Mortality Survey, published by the National Institutes of Health, indicates that the majority of consumers in need of the screening tests which will be offered by the InforMed Centers do not receive these tests.
Several additional conclusions were drawn by the NIH. A key conclusion is that a full fifty per cent of the American population is aware of the dangers in having a high level of cholesterol, but only seven per cent of the population knows its own cholesterol level.
An additional factor which was discovered was that the majority of Americans either do not have a family physician or have not seen their family physician in the past year. From this it was concluded that one of the primary reasons that these possible clients do not get their cholesterol level tested is the necessity of a visit to the doctor’s office.
Hospital testing is conducted generally in critical care circumstances. By the time a patient finds himself in the hospital for testing, he or she generally is being evaluated for a serious medical condition.
Medical centers include specialist associations, walk-in diagnostic centers and family practice centers. This is a small classification which competes indirectly with InforMed Centers by offering a more friendly, nonclinical location for testing from sexually transmitted diseases to blood pressure readings. We know only a few medical or health center in Northeastern Ohio which offer walk-in screening tests currently.
The doctor’s office still dominates the served market for diagnostic testing services. Rarely does a general practitioner operate a diagnostic testing laboratory; rather the samples are sent out to a testing laboratory which bills the patient independently from the doctor. Worse, the doctor may bill for the medical laboratory’s service and include a markup in the price. This causes delays in getting results, redundant insurance claims, and frequent nonpayment of bills by insurance carriers. Price also becomes a factor for clients, as the cost of tests after the markup from the lab and the doctor far exceeds the cost of the test alone. Despite all these factors, the doctor’s office accounts for the overwhelming majority of all diagnostic tests.
For destination shoppers, a visit to the InforMed Center would be combined with other activities. For the mall browser, the presence and design of the stores will be an invitation to get a valuable service during the course of their day. In either case, our location represents a significant time savings and logistical convenience.
Wellnet will develop relationships with preferred provider organizations (PPO’S) and health maintenance organizations (HMO’S) which will entitle members to a certain number of tests or mental health services per year. These relationships will provide a stable base of customers and a steady source of revenue. This will supplement the market reached through advertising. As of this writing, the company is initiating this effort, so no assurances can be given concerning the prospects of enrolling PPO’s or HMO’s.
Yet, the benefit to a PPO or HMO in averted claims when preventive steps are taken before a patient becomes seriously ill should prove to be a powerful argument in favor of forming a partnership with the Wellnet InforMed Centers.
In addition to advertising, couponing will be utilized to attract new customers to the Wellnet InforMed Centers and to encourage customers to increase the number of tests they request.
Couponing and special offers will be used also to promote the retail operations of the Centers.
BREAK EVEN ANALYSIS
We are entering each target market with one store for each 15-25,000 people in the city and surrounding market area. In doing so, we optimize the market penetration while minimizing the overlap between stores. According to the analysis of cholesterol screening programs conducted by Boehringer Mannheim, 2500 of each 250,000 people in the area of dominant influence (ADI = the marketing equivalent of a metropolitan area of a citywide program will come in for screening within the first nine days. Of these, we estimate that 800 will request other tests if they know that the tests are available. The center will be enabled to provide EKG, spirometry, mammography and body composition and other screening tests to customers in addition to blood screening tests.
The strategy for expansion is to develop personnel by the extensive training program offered by Wellnet in the new distinctions of InforMedicine and to enter markets in a blanket fashion, and to establish a solid ground for expansion.
A key element of the operation will be the intensive, two weeks training all employees will receive prior to starting their service at strips, malls and kiosk centers. This training, called
“Communication for Wellbeing” will serve to prepare employees to understand patients’ concerns for their own wellness and to be able to offer an impeccable service to the customers. It is the objective of this training that Wellnet customers get all the information and take all the tests that they need to satisfy their concerns.
A major key to the success will be the blanket approach to each target market. By entering a market in blanket fashion, we will get all the benefit of the attention such an opening will bring to wellness and preventive medicine. A scenario which must be avoided is the incomplete penetration of a target market. Such incomplete penetration would allow a competitor to arise and take over the market segment which is served by a major mall. Not only are customers lost, but name recognition becomes blurred.
InforMed Centers projects licenses opening in the second year of operation. Licensing an InforMed Centers business which is parallel with medical practices will require a solid grounding in distinctions such as InforMedicine and BioMedicine. Also, service and customers empowerment must remain at the forefront of operations. To maintain these distinctions, InforMed Centers will make available a training program, called Leadership in Medicine, which will serve as a context for the opening of Physicians owned InforMed Centers. Leadership in Medicine is a synthesis of the program called Physician 2000 and The Leadership Course developed by Dr. Pupillo. Leadership in Medicine will explore the changing nature of the doctor patient relationship and the emerging info-medical paradigm.
The prospective franchisee will be required to serve as the agent for the Leadership in Medicine course in his/her city. As the course agent, the franchisee will develop an acute understanding of the fundamental principles of the disease, health and wellness continuum. In this way, the franchisee can recreate the environment of service and empowerment and the distinctions of the new paradigm of Info-Medicine.
Training will be uniform for the license operation. The Communications for Wellbeing course will be taught to all employees. Licensees will be able to acquire exactly the same equipment so equipment manuals will be the same as well. Other facets of the operations will be duplicated where possible…continue