AI-powered health clinics open in Phoenix-area stores

AI-powered medical clinics will now be offered to shoppers at several Phoenix-area grocery stores in an effort to provide better access to healthcare.

Akos, a telehealth company based in Phoenix, Arizona, recently launched AI-powered, virtual health clinics at five Safeway grocery stores across the Phoenix area, according to a press release. The clinics feature virtual and onsite health professionals, while also using augmented reality to guide patients through the diagnostic process.

The announcement underscores more healthcare integration across industries, particularly between pharmacy and grocery. Recently, Walgreens announced a pilot partnership with Kroger to deliver grocery orders to select Walgreens locations in Northern Kentucky.

“Every detail of the encounter is automatically charted and scribed into the electronic medical record. The AI also sends the prescription and/or test orders to the appropriate healthcare partner,” the press release stated. “In the appropriate time frame, depending upon the diagnosis, the AI follows up with the patient to check their health status and schedule a follow-up visit, if warranted.”

During the process, patients use medical devices to collect their information—like body weight, blood pressure and ear, nose and throat images—before diagnoses are made. The information and suggestions about the patient’s health and treatment options are sent electronically to a provider.

The provider and the patient then meet through video consultation to confirm the information that was collected, verify diagnosis and confirm a treatment plan.

The partnership will help Akos expand its “telehealth offerings beyond the capabilities of our telemedicine app by placing these clinics where consumers regularly shop," Kishlay Anand, MD, Akos chief executive officer and co-founder, said in a prepared statement.

“In a time when digital health is rapidly evolving, we are excited to bring this unprecedented approach to virtual medical care,” Anand said.