Higi and Stayhealthy team up in kiosk consolidation

By Jonah Comstock
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kiosk4 A Stayhealthy HealthCenter kiosk.

Health kiosk startup higi has merged with Stayhealthy, another mobile health company that also has a health kiosk business. The two announced the merger last week. The new company will apparently still be known as higi. Higi's Jeff Bennett will stay on as CEO, while Stayhealthy CEO John Collins will take on the role of Vice Chairman and Director of Innovation.

"Our ultimate goal is to promote and develop a collaborative approach to healthcare between physicians, providers, payers, employers and individuals," Bennet said in a statement. "By leveraging Stayhealthy’s innovative algorithms, advanced testing methods, and screening technologies, we get one step closer to achieving this goal through access to high-tech data. There is a great synergy between our products, services and passion for providing quality healthcare screening and engaging individuals to take control of their health.”

Stayhealthy has been around since 1995, but has been in the digital health space since at least 2009, when the startup's focus was on standalone health devices for the mass market as well as health tracking iPhone applications. The company's main mission statement has to do with going beyond BMI to provide customers with a way to assess the healthiness of their weight based on body fat percentage, body composition, and hydration.

In 2011, the company pivoted into the kiosk business, incorporating their body composition sensor technology into a design they developed with IBM in the late 90s.

"What is unique in the Stayhealthy HealthCenter approach goes beyond the kiosk hardware," Collins said at the time. "Anyone can make a blood pressure machine or health station. It's the science and research behind the solution, and our bundling of both the hardware and software technologies into a HIPAA and ADA-compliant, Web-enabled and user friendly total wellness management system that is unique. This is what the average consumer is looking for in today's consumer-driven healthcare environment."

Stayhealthy had major deals to put kiosks in Kroger grocery stores, Supervalu supermarkets, and Albertson's drug stores, while higi was previously rolled out in 2,000 stores including Whole Foods, CVS, and Rite Aid. The newly merged company will have 6,000 kiosks, with contracts for 10,000 by the beginning of 2015. In a statement, higi indicated that Stayhealthy's strength is in the accuracy of its novel clinical measurements, while higi brings an engaging, rewards-based user experience to the table.

“Bringing the two companies together makes great strategic sense and expands our influence in the market,” Collins said in a statement. “By combining our different technologies and resources, we can offer a best in class, next generation product. Higi’s engagement platform makes tracking your health simple, fun and rewarding. This merged with our clinical-quality health measurement technology is a win-win for the end user.”

While Stayhealthy is nearly two decades old, higi just launched last year at SXSW in Austin, Texas. Backed by serial entrepreneur Michael Ferro and hip hop artist Lupe Fiasco, the company quickly gained traction. It acquired rewards and challenge platform Earndit in December.