July 13, 2007

KIOSKS and Health - Diabetes Information

Awareness and self-diagnosis of diabetes is being done with touchscreen kiosks. “It is just a real simple test,” Gross said. “It asks you several questions about your health to determine if you are at risk for diabetes.”

Technology helping to diagnose diabetes
Daily American Correspondent
Friday, July 13, 2007 12:39 AM EDT

The InforMedx Group of Johnstown is expanding their program to help people self-detect diabetes with new technology.

“The goal was to increase consumer use of Internet tools and technology for the better management of their health care,” said InforMedx project analyst Julie Burk.

The group has placed 10 kiosks at different public facilities in Cambria and Somerset counties to help people detect if they are at risk for Type II diabetes, Burk said.

The InforMedx Group is an organization that focuses on bringing new technology to consumers for better health care.

The kiosk program was first started in March 2006 with the installation of 14 original kiosks, but currently there are about 10 at local health facilities, Burk said.

The kiosks are touch screen computers that allow the user to view video and answer health related questions that will help detect if they are at risk for diabetes.

“We usually use four of them for health fairs and there are about five new locations,” she said.

The locations with newly installed kiosks include Somerset Drug, Johnstown Budfield Medical Office and Forest Hills Pharmacy, Burk said.

“It has been two weeks (since the kiosk installation),” said Debbie Craig of the Budfield Medical Office in Johnstown.

Craig said it seems like people are responding to the new technology.

“It is very simple - it is a touch screen,” Craig said.

“It only takes about three minutes and it is just to educate people and diagnose if they are at risk.”

Somerset Drug employee Patty Gross said the kiosk has been used by several people since being installed Tuesday.

“It is just a real simple test,” Gross said. “It asks you several questions about your health to determine if you are at risk for diabetes.”

It is good to help educate people about their risk for diabetes because it is more information for the people, Gross said.

The Conemaugh Diabetes Institute in Johnstown has been the location of a kiosk since March 2006, said employee Jan Albert.

“We are trying to raise awareness for diabetes and if they are at risk they can make some changes,” Albert said.

Albert said the kiosk has been a major help in spreading awareness about diabetes and said people are more at risk than in the past.

“We are seeing diabetes in younger people now,” Albert said.

She said spreading awareness about diabetes can help people make lifestyle changes.

Julie Burk said she hopes the program expands past diabetes and the kiosks can be used to diagnose risks for other health problems.

“Hopefully the program will grow into other risk assessments for the continuation of the project, which we expect for next year,” Burk said.

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Posted by staff at July 13, 2007 11:09 AM