Do-it-yourself health kiosks start popping up around state


Free do-it-yourself health screening kiosks are begin to pop up in place of old blood pressure screening machines in the state, the Star Tribune reports.

The kiosks, from SoloHealth, measure things like a person's vision, body mass index and blood pressure, and can assess the risks of heart disease,. According to the paper, there are 3,000 of the machines situated in megastores like Wal-Mart and Sam's Clubs, including 50 in Minnesota.

The machines ask customers ask on-screen questions -- including inquires about their age, gender, allergies and potential symptoms -- tailors their recommendations and advertisements based on the information, and even provides a list of local doctors and assists with scheduling appointments.

University of Minnesota medical historian Dominique Tobbell tells the Star Tribune that the machines could be "super beneficial," and address the issue of a problem in the health care field -- which is the need to "get more patients engaged in preventive health care."

The founder and CEO of SoloHealth, Bart Foster, told the paper that he's not trying to compete with doctors, but "empower people to take care of themselves."

A former drug company executive, Foster developed the kiosks, which debuted last fall, with a $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Since the kiosks make their money with advertisers like drug companies, the kiosks have caused some concern among scholars and physicians. Dr. David Thorson, the chairman of the Minnesota Medical Association, tells the Star Tribune that he's concerned that test results from the kiosks may unduly alarm patients if there's no medical professional available to interpret the results.

In addition, Art Caplan, a medical ethicist with New York University and former University of Minnesota professor, tells the paper that he's worried the kiosks may promote unproven remedies.

Foster, however, isn't concerned about the criticism, saying a medical board reviews the health information to verify the accuracy. The ads, he noted, helps provide the service for free.

Next Up

Kenta Maeda

Twins pull Maeda early, White Sox pummel bullpen

Jose Abreu's two-run homer gave the White Sox a 9-3 victory.

boys volleyball

Girls wrestling sanctioned as MSHSL activity; boys volleyball 2 votes shy

There will be section and state tournaments for girls-only wrestling next school year.

P.J. Fleck

Gopher players defend PJ Fleck after WCCO-TV report

"The public has made our statement," a U of M spokesperson said.

vaccine, covid

Twin Cities police investigating COVID vaccine thefts in viral videos

Videos of both incidents were recorded and shared online.

Guthrie theater

Guthrie to reopen to the public in July, shows resume this fall

The theater has been closed to the public for more than a year.

Target - good and gather plant based

Target is launching more than 30 new plant-based grocery products

All are part of the company's hit Good & Gather brand.

Roller Garden

Roller Garden to auction off skates, signs, arcade games and more

Many items from the beloved Roller Garden will be up for auction next month.

joseph ness booking photo

Charges: Chanhassen man fired hundreds of rounds, killing his sister

Six rifles, including AR-15 and AK-47 variants, were found inside the home.

police lights

Woman robbed and assaulted at gunpoint in Waite Park, police say

The incident occurred on Sunday at around 11:30 p.m.

pixabay - marijuana cannabis

Marijuana legalization: Minnesota House to vote Thursday

The "historic" vote on the House floor is set for Thursday afternoon.