Five more AI-powered health clinics open in Phoenix grocery stores

Arizona-based telehealth company Akos has opened five additional AI-powered health clinics at Phoenix-area grocery stores in a continued push to provide better access to healthcare, the company recently announced.

In November, Akos launched virtual health clinics at five Safeway grocery stores in Phoenix, Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa and Tempe, Arizona. The newest clinics opened in Scottsdale (two), Ahwatukee, Chandler and Laveen. Two more clinics are also expected to open in Casa Grande, Arizona, and Boise, Idaho, by the end of March.

“Our hope is that these clinics help improve access to healthcare in the neighborhoods where we have these locations because they are located in the same place our customers are already buying groceries and picking up their prescriptions,” Joe Leyba, director of pharmacy for Albertsons Companies Southwest, which operates Safeway stores, said in a statement.

The clinics offer feature virtual and onsite health professionals and leverage AI and augmented reality (AR) to guide patients through the entire diagnostic process—including collecting patient information, automatically recording information into an electronic medical record (EMR), suggesting health and treatment options, verifying information with physicians and scheduling follow-up visits.

“Patients have expressed satisfaction at the ease and speed of the experience at the five locations we’ve had open since early November,” James Bates, president and CEO of Akos Med Clinic, said in a statement. “Like many other things, Artificial Intelligence is changing how we consume healthcare, and our AI system is giving time back to providers to spend consulting with patients.”

The virtual health clinic concept is similar to recent efforts by CVS Health to turn its retail stores into healthcare hubs for residents in the communities it serves.