Kiosk startup higi headed to 4,000 Rite Aid stores

By Jonah Comstock
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higiDigital health startup higi has signed an agreement with Rite Aid to get its kiosks, which were already dispersed throughout 2,000 stores like Publix, Whole Foods, and CVS, into Rite Aid pharmacies. Between the second quarter of 2014 and early 2015, the company plans to roll out 4,100 kiosks in Rite Aid stores.

“We are very excited to be expanding higi on a national level through this new relationship with Rite Aid,” Jim Farrell, President of higi, said in a statement. “Our primary goal is to help people take an active role in their personal health and well-being. Now Rite Aid customers and associates nationwide will be able to measure their personal body data through the higi Station and integrate that information into their lifestyle – allowing users to engage in their health in convenient and rewarding ways.”

Chicago-based higi makes a kiosk where users can take their vital signs, including blood pressure, height, and weight. Users can create an account which gamifies their vitals reading it, converting it to a single "HigiScore" that represents the user's overall wellness (including vitals signs as well as "lifestyle" and "community" scores drawn from device integrations and social media), and "HigiWatts," which are points users get for visiting kiosks regularly. Higi also has a mobile app available to facilitate further engagement with the platform.

“Rite Aid is pleased to be the first national drugstore chain to select a health station provider like higi,” Dan Miller, Rite Aid senior vice president of pharmacy, said in a statement. “Higi was chosen because of the high quality, ease of use and effectiveness higi Stations offer, which ultimately supports Rite Aid’s long-term commitment to provide access to great health and wellness tools for our customers and associates.”

Higi launched at last year's SXSW and was founded by Chicago Sun-Times owner Michael Ferro, with hip hop artist Lupe Fiasco as an investor and creative director. In December, the company bought Seattle-based health rewards platform Earndit, with plans to integrate Earndit's rewards platform into higi's kiosks.

“What excited them about Earndit was primarily three things: the integration with all these other devices and apps; the challenge platform we have, which is something they wanted to build; and the rewards system underneath it all,” Earndit CEO Andres Moran said at the time. “This is exciting though because now higi can measure so much and give rewards for so much data. You have not only the state of your body, like your vitals, but also those activities — what you are doing to try to improve [the state of your body]. It’s a more comprehensive picture.”