At Health 2.0 WinterTech: The New Consumer Health Landscape speakers and sponsors are exploring the platforms that empower the informed consumer movement by providing objective reviews of consumer products. Senior Director, of Health Impact and Consumer Reports, Tara Montgomery will be joining the event to speak to their research on the health products, prescriptions, and providers that contribute to the changing consumer health landscape.
Health 2.0: Tara can you start by speaking to what really pushed this expansion into research and advocacies surrounding health products and when you sort of saw this started shifting?
Tara Montgomery: Yes. Well, actually, you might not know, but we have been in health since day one, and it was actually in our charter back in 1936 to look out for the well-being of all consumers. We started in our very first issue of our magazine and we rated Alka-Seltzer and said that its claims vanish — like gas bubbles in the air. So that was our first foray into health, but that was in a small scale, and I think it was typical of the kinds of health products being advertised to consumers earlier in the 20th century, but over the decades, we covered health lightly. And then, really, about 10 years ago, we saw the shift in healthcare where the consumer’s role really was shifting much more consciously from a compliant patient to a need to be a more savvy health consumer. That was a real call to action for us because our role in helping consumers out in the world is really to give people savvy information about value, and everything we’ve done in washing machines and cars and toasters has been about helping people evaluate the benefits, their satisfaction, and the value for money of the products and services they choose. When the burden of health costs started to shift towards consumers, and you know that definitely has been more intense in the past couple of years, we’ve needed to rise to the occasion and helpconsumers navigate that new role. So, that was a moment for us along with transparency, because when we wanted to rate healthcare products and services more than 10 years ago, the data wasn’t available, and obviously, you can’t look at health the same way as we look at cars and washing machines and bang — our national lab.Continue reading…
As Health 2.0 gears up for Health 2.0 WinterTech, January 15th in San Francisco, their reporters sat down with Environmental Working Group Executive Director, Heather White to discuss the many pathways consumer health advocacy takes and the barriers that continue to keep many of us in the dark about the relationship between our health and our environment.
Health 2.0: To get things started, Heather, I wanted to talk with you a little bit about some of the insight you’ll be providing at WinterTech, which is in relation to the Skin Deep App. From what I’ve researched, it offers ratings on over 70,000 products. I was hoping you could share your thoughts on how you and your team envisioned this app and the way it’s changing how consumers shop for skin products, and what has been the response thus far?
Heather White: Yeah. Well, it definitely has been making waves in the market for a pretty long time. Our site was developed 10 years ago, but we launched our app last year. So far, we’ve had about 300,000 downloads on iPhone and about 95,000 on Android, so close to 400,000 consumers have downloaded the app and are able to make decisions on safer cosmetics and personal care products right at the store. So, we’ve gotten a lot of response and support from our community, but we’re also finding that our brand is reaching a much broader audience. It’s really exciting for us because EWG is all about making sure people make this connection between our health and the environment and really start thinking about the environment as something that they connect to everyday. It’s not just that place you go on vacation, but it also incorporates the chemicals that you buy and that you put on your skin and the chemicals that you buy and then you bring into your home. Skin Deep is trying to really push the market for safer cosmetics and we’ve really seen a lot of consumers make more switches to safer alternatives and we’re also seeing each day new brands coming onto the markets that are less toxic. So, there’s been a tremendous response so far. It’s a free app. It’s available both on the Android and iPhone and our supporters and people who are interested in this issue have really welcomed it.
Health 2.0 announces the inaugural event, WinterTech: The New Consumer Health Landscape on January 15th, 2015 during JP Morgan Week in San Francisco, CA. Industry leaders Walmart, Samsung, Target, Qualcomm Life, MyFitnessPal and many others will discuss major digital health themes in the marketplace such as: investing in consumer health, the new role of retail environments in health care, new platforms and interfaces for personal health, the informed health care consumer, and how consumer data is contributing to new clinical insights.
Participating organizations and speakers at WinterTech include:
Ben Wanamaker (Walmart)
Bakul Patel (United States Food and Drug Administration)
Rick Valencia (Qualcomm Life)
Tara Montgomery (Consumer Reports)
Karan Singh (Ginger.io)