Retail pharmacy chain Rite Aid has purchased the assets of shuttered telemedicine kiosk company HealthSpot at auction for $1.15 million, according to MedCity News. Rite Aid, a major former customer of HealthSpot's, made the second of two bids for the assets, which include 191 kiosks, most of which have never been deployed. The first bid, for $1 million, came from a local Ohio investment group.
Rite Aid obtaining the technology makes sense, since the retail pharmacy was one of the first to deploy HealthSpot technology in 25 of its stores. When news of HealthSpot's shutdown broke in January, Rite Aid told a number of publications that it would keep exploring the use of the technology.
"Rite Aid appreciated the opportunity to offer HealthSpot services to our patients and customers over the past year," the company said at the time. "We believe very much in the value of telehealth and will continue to explore options to offer such services in the future.”
The future of the technology is especially uncertain because the future of Rite Aid is uncertain. In October of last year, Rite Aid announced an agreement to be acquired by Walgreens Boots Alliance. But the Federal Trade Commission has yet to greenlight that merger. Given that the merged company would have a 46.5 percent marketshare, compared to rival CVS's 30 percent, there's some concern that it won't pass muster with FTC's anti-monopoly provisions, which recently put the kibosh on a proposed Staples-Office Depot merger.
Rite Aid also has a partnership with higi, another kiosk company. Higi signed an agreement in 2014 to distribute more than 4,000 kiosks to Rite Aid stores across the country -- a much larger rollout than the company ever had with HealthSpot.