PROFILE

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

Health Economist, Advisor, Trend Weaver
Jane's book, "HealthConsuming: From Health Consumer to Health Citizen," explains the growing role of the health consumer, facing greater out-of-pocket costs for health care and being "Amazon-Primed" for retail expectations. She traces the growth of the retail and digital health landscape that's responding to health consumers' demands, while mindful of the privacy and security implications of the growing data ecosystem. Jane is a health economist, advisor and trend-weaver to organizations at the intersection of health, technology and people. Jane founded THINK-Health after working with health care consultancies in the US and Europe. Jane’s clients are all stakeholders in health: technology, bio/life sciences, providers, plans, financial services and consumer goods. She founded the Health Populi blog in 2007. Jane advises on strategy via environmental analysis, scenario and strategic planning. She sits on many advisory boards and is a frequent speaker, listed with AHA’s Speakers Express and Executive Speakers Bureau.
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  • Posted on: 05/02/2019

    Walgreens is training pharmacists to tackle mental health, opioid emergencies

    Pharmacists are among the most-trusted workers in the U.S., shown year after year in the annual Gallup Poll on ethics in U.S. professions. As more consumers seek health@retail in convenient, accessible locations, pharmacists are playing growing roles in their local communities to bolster health -- physical/clinical, mental, and bricks-and-mortar stores for community and social connectedness. This will be an integral feature in evolving community health ecosystems. Some of these may evolve into "accountable care communities," beyond the current ACO model for managing population health care and costs.
  • Posted on: 05/02/2019

    Are ‘live, work, shop, play’ environments a big part of retail’s future?

    Another facet of this emerging lifestyle/retail convergence is retail's re-use of space for health/wellness and medical services. I talk about this in my new book "HealthConsuming" in the fourth chapter. "The New Retail Health." For example: in suburban Boston, I discuss Dana-Farber Cancer Institute which sited a center at the Atrium Mall in Chestnut Hill, and the Southeastern Regional Medical Center located in space at the Biggs Park Mall in Lumberton, NC. We're seeing more health@retail as people pay increasing first-dollar out-of-pocket share of healthcare costs.
  • Posted on: 03/29/2019

    Has wearable tech already gone out of style?

    We'll see wearable tech-generated data disappear and morph into Internet of Things devices like our refrigerators, automobiles and, in an ongoing capacity, our smartphones. We'll continue to generate data in less intrusive and obvious ways. This makes passage of a comprehensive consumer-protective privacy law in the U.S. (like Europe's GDPR) even more crucial as consumer-generated data is increasingly created (and monetized in business models) in our daily life-flows, beyond our social network check-ins and retail receipts recorded.
  • Posted on: 01/30/2019

    Kohl’s continues wellness push with WW collaboration

    The Kohl's/WW collaboration is part of a growing retail health landscape bringing health and wellness to people where we live, work, play, learn, and now shop. It's also part real-estate play as strip and shopping malls seek alternative uses for space -- which healthcare providers and stakeholders can fill. Kohl's sells athletic and active wear and wearable tech, quite prominently in the 2017 and 2018 Black Friday and holiday shopping seasons. They also expanded their relationship with Under Armour in 2017. Here's my take on the Kohl's/WW alliance in Health Populi.
  • Posted on: 08/13/2018

    Hy-Vee opens fitness-focused grocery store concept

    Self-care is the new black, and most consumers are shopping with health and wellness on their minds, Nielsen and other consumer data are showing. Kudos to Hy-Vee, who have also begun to pilot gyms in their stores, for joining this health ecosystem. They'll be relevant to the growing cohort of patients growing health-consumer muscles in the expanding retail health ecosystem.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2018

    Will Amazon’s PillPack acquisition disrupt the retail pharmacy business?

    This isn't just about prescription drug distribution, direct-to-consumer: it's about that patient's data, aggregated with other people's, to potentially manage population health and bundle products together to help people manage chronic conditions. That's the Holy Grail for the "triple aim" of enhancing the healthcare experience (Amazon's CX excellence), driving health outcomes (marrying data for the N of 1 patient-consumer), and driving healthcare costs down -- which is the third leg of the triple aim-stool. For more on that, read my post here, written exactly one year ago.
  • Posted on: 02/07/2018

    Will a CEO without department store experience transform Hudson’s Bay business?

    It's fascinating that health care organizations have been "importing" retail and consumer goods talent, and here we see retail going the other way. Ms. Foulkes has been a key force in trying to move CVS/pharmacy to CVS/health with the dropping of tobacco from stores and, most recently, delivering prescriptions to the curbside and peoples' homes -- taking a page out of Amazon Prime's book in their own way. Ms. Foulkes brings a strong sense of consumer-centricity and corporate social responsibility to the job. From my health-and-wellness perch, I'm keen to see how she can translate this ethos to Hudson's Bay portfolio of retailers.
  • Posted on: 12/19/2017

    Hershey and Campbell splurge big on better-for-you acquisitions

    Most consumers now enter the grocery store with "health" on their minds with growing food-as-medicine intention. So all FMCG players are looking to bake health into offerings, and these acquisitions bolster Campbell's and Hershey's health halos. Still, consumers are increasingly food and nutrition savvy, and many very small players are doing a great job growing market share for niche healthy food products. This is not lost on either big company, so we'll see more of this consolidation among them looking for more healthy food in their portfolios.
  • Posted on: 12/06/2017

    Dollar General is betting on the continuing decline of the middle class

    Fortunes can be made at the bottom of the pyramid, as C.K. Prahalad wrote in his book "The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid." He taught me that a long time ago at the University of Michigan and, though he was formulating this thesis 25 years ago (!), it's even more important and resonating today.
  • Posted on: 11/13/2017

    Are data sharing concerns still holding back true personalization?

    This issue is incredibly impactful in my world of health, healthcare and wellness. Patient/person-generated data like mood and stress, eating habits, activity and financial health all shape peoples' health status. Having a 360-degree view of the person beyond the healthcare claim (that is, what's in the pharmacy and health plan database) can help coach and nudge people toward health. If consumers aren't willing to share these data due to trust barriers, we'll not be able to move the needle on health care costs. Self-care and health engagement/activation underpin our ability to reduce unnecessary healthcare spending, as well as promote prevention and add life to years, not just years to life. Unfortunately, HIPAA doesn't cover patient-generated data from wearable tech, retail receipts, and other important information that represent the social determinants of health.
  • Posted on: 05/30/2017

    Why is Target investing in a mattress direct seller?

    I'm particularly cuing on the mention of Target's commitment to "sleep and wellness." They've been adjusting their health & beauty aisles, and curating grocery, aiming at the health-oriented shopper. They are building out the health/wellness portfolio with this investment as sleep is the "new black!" For more on that, see my post on sleep's central role for health consumers, emerging at CES 2014.
  • Posted on: 05/18/2017

    Is the $400B prescription drug business ripe for an Amazon disruption?

    Amazon has one particular asset that is massive and exploitable for health: consumer data across various purchase categories. If the company can mash up medical and pharmacy claims data with food, OTC and personal care, then it can make "recommendations" to shoppers for food and other products that can help manage a condition, Beyond the logistics of being a virtual pharmacy channel, this Big Data Analytics capability would be transformational for consumers' DIY healthcare and could help lower costs to the system and valuable consumer health engagement.
  • Posted on: 10/17/2016

    Pharmacy charges ‘man tax’

    This market story is part of a larger issue on the gender disparity of taxes, which I talked about in a Huffington Post column earlier this year — "The Gender Disparity of Taxes: Toys, Tech, and Tampons."
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