Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

Health Economist, Advisor, Trend Weaver
Jane's book, "HealthConsuming: From Health Consumer to Health Citizen," explains the growing role of the health consumer, facing greater out-of-pocket costs for health care and being "Amazon-Primed" for retail expectations. She traces the growth of the retail and digital health landscape that's responding to health consumers' demands, while mindful of the privacy and security implications of the growing data ecosystem. Jane is a health economist, advisor and trend-weaver to organizations at the intersection of health, technology and people. Jane founded THINK-Health after working with health care consultancies in the US and Europe. Jane’s clients are all stakeholders in health: technology, bio/life sciences, providers, plans, financial services and consumer goods. She founded the Health Populi blog in 2007. Jane advises on strategy via environmental analysis, scenario and strategic planning. She sits on many advisory boards and is a frequent speaker, listed with AHA’s Speakers Express and Executive Speakers Bureau.
  • Posted on: 07/09/2020

    Will doctors prove a cure-all for Walgreens competitive ills?

    Walgreens' move to bake primary care into the pharmacy experience could help the company turbocharge its healthcare branding and care footprint vis-a-vis Walmart (with its new health centers, opening one at a time) and CVS/Aetna's Health Hub Concept. VillageMD's competency in population health management is also part of the secret in this sauce: if well digitally integrated with Walgreens' systems, the chain can be a real player in "healthcare" beyond the pharmacy and retail health modes. It's all about the data, and this could expand Walgreens' role in a significant way. Now, it's about execution. Hopeful this can work to help bring primary care to peoples' neighborhoods, where we live, work, play, learn, and ... shop....
  • Posted on: 10/07/2019

    Best Buy makes a big bet on health tech

    Best Buy's acquisition of Great Call was more than bringing in a "senior phone" device. BB Health now has baked in Great Call's expertise and insights into how older people live and think, and can leverage and continue to build on trusted relationships with people seeking to age in place at home for as long as they can. Best Buy Health has a very ambitious goal to generate $50 billion in this business in five years' time. That's the equivalent to 50 pharmaceutical blockbusters (which are defined as billion-dollars-a-year in revenue). Best luck to Best Buy Health with this huge objective, morphing from goods-to-"service-as-a-service."
  • Posted on: 10/02/2019

    Is Walmart’s CEO the right leader for Business Roundtable?

    Homing in on Walmart's latest re-commitments and re-imagining the company's role in health and healthcare indicates the organization's commitment to its communities beyond shareholders. The company can do well and do good at the same time doubling and tripling down on healthcare services, mental health, and healthy food systems on behalf of consumers. Consumers want to engage for health beyond healthcare, and Walmart's growing footprint and ethos toward health beyond investors will be good for business, for healthy citizens, and for their bottom line. For more on the Walmart growth plans in health/healthcare, see this post.
  • Posted on: 09/06/2019

    Would you go to Walmart to see a doctor?

    A continued "bravo!" to Walmart for expanding its role in primary care and reinventing an accessible model for health care for mainstream people beyond the concierge models of One Medical. In just the past few weeks, Walmart has made visible its growing footprint in health beyond "care" by banning certain lethal weapons and ammo along with carrying guns in stores, by adding mental/behavioral health to the primary care clinic offering, expanding the ecommerce site at, and even adding pollinating garden centers in some stores to enhance its sustainability and green efforts - and enabling consumers to grow fresh food. I talked about this growing health footprint in my blog yesterday.
  • Posted on: 08/06/2019

    CVS subscription program goes big to outdo Amazon Prime

    To best position vis-a-vis both Amazon and retail pharmacies (in grocery, chains and big box channels) CVS can (should) leverage CarePass back to the HealthHub concept to extend continuity of care beyond “the pill” and Rx to the home. Health consumers, now health care payers, are seeking convenient and delightful experiences — streamlining our fragmented health care delivery processes will help to delight that consumer-patient with an eye on price, a key driver for consumers even in health care. A key to making this work will be investing in a health care data platform that can capture all of the consumer’s data in these encounters (whether CarePass, brick and mortar retail, HealthHug, pharmacy, et. al.) ensuring open APIs that can mash up with data in other clouds (like my Fitbit activity tracking, Withings digital scale, health apps, and so on). I’ll be staying closely tuned to this evolution...
  • Posted on: 05/02/2019

    Walgreens is training pharmacists to tackle mental health, opioid emergencies

    Pharmacists are among the most-trusted workers in the U.S., shown year after year in the annual Gallup Poll on ethics in U.S. professions. As more consumers seek health@retail in convenient, accessible locations, pharmacists are playing growing roles in their local communities to bolster health -- physical/clinical, mental, and bricks-and-mortar stores for community and social connectedness. This will be an integral feature in evolving community health ecosystems. Some of these may evolve into "accountable care communities," beyond the current ACO model for managing population health care and costs.
  • Posted on: 05/02/2019

    Are ‘live, work, shop, play’ environments a big part of retail’s future?

    Another facet of this emerging lifestyle/retail convergence is retail's re-use of space for health/wellness and medical services. I talk about this in my new book "HealthConsuming" in the fourth chapter. "The New Retail Health." For example: in suburban Boston, I discuss Dana-Farber Cancer Institute which sited a center at the Atrium Mall in Chestnut Hill, and the Southeastern Regional Medical Center located in space at the Biggs Park Mall in Lumberton, NC. We're seeing more health@retail as people pay increasing first-dollar out-of-pocket share of healthcare costs.
  • Posted on: 03/29/2019

    Has wearable tech already gone out of style?

    We'll see wearable tech-generated data disappear and morph into Internet of Things devices like our refrigerators, automobiles and, in an ongoing capacity, our smartphones. We'll continue to generate data in less intrusive and obvious ways. This makes passage of a comprehensive consumer-protective privacy law in the U.S. (like Europe's GDPR) even more crucial as consumer-generated data is increasingly created (and monetized in business models) in our daily life-flows, beyond our social network check-ins and retail receipts recorded.
  • Posted on: 01/30/2019

    Kohl’s continues wellness push with WW collaboration

    The Kohl's/WW collaboration is part of a growing retail health landscape bringing health and wellness to people where we live, work, play, learn, and now shop. It's also part real-estate play as strip and shopping malls seek alternative uses for space -- which healthcare providers and stakeholders can fill. Kohl's sells athletic and active wear and wearable tech, quite prominently in the 2017 and 2018 Black Friday and holiday shopping seasons. They also expanded their relationship with Under Armour in 2017. Here's my take on the Kohl's/WW alliance in Health Populi.
  • Posted on: 08/13/2018

    Hy-Vee opens fitness-focused grocery store concept

    Self-care is the new black, and most consumers are shopping with health and wellness on their minds, Nielsen and other consumer data are showing. Kudos to Hy-Vee, who have also begun to pilot gyms in their stores, for joining this health ecosystem. They'll be relevant to the growing cohort of patients growing health-consumer muscles in the expanding retail health ecosystem.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2018

    Will Amazon’s PillPack acquisition disrupt the retail pharmacy business?

    This isn't just about prescription drug distribution, direct-to-consumer: it's about that patient's data, aggregated with other people's, to potentially manage population health and bundle products together to help people manage chronic conditions. That's the Holy Grail for the "triple aim" of enhancing the healthcare experience (Amazon's CX excellence), driving health outcomes (marrying data for the N of 1 patient-consumer), and driving healthcare costs down -- which is the third leg of the triple aim-stool. For more on that, read my post here, written exactly one year ago.
  • Posted on: 02/07/2018

    Will a CEO without department store experience transform Hudson’s Bay business?

    It's fascinating that health care organizations have been "importing" retail and consumer goods talent, and here we see retail going the other way. Ms. Foulkes has been a key force in trying to move CVS/pharmacy to CVS/health with the dropping of tobacco from stores and, most recently, delivering prescriptions to the curbside and peoples' homes -- taking a page out of Amazon Prime's book in their own way. Ms. Foulkes brings a strong sense of consumer-centricity and corporate social responsibility to the job. From my health-and-wellness perch, I'm keen to see how she can translate this ethos to Hudson's Bay portfolio of retailers.
  • Posted on: 12/19/2017

    Hershey and Campbell splurge big on better-for-you acquisitions

    Most consumers now enter the grocery store with "health" on their minds with growing food-as-medicine intention. So all FMCG players are looking to bake health into offerings, and these acquisitions bolster Campbell's and Hershey's health halos. Still, consumers are increasingly food and nutrition savvy, and many very small players are doing a great job growing market share for niche healthy food products. This is not lost on either big company, so we'll see more of this consolidation among them looking for more healthy food in their portfolios.
  • Posted on: 12/06/2017

    Dollar General is betting on the continuing decline of the middle class

    Fortunes can be made at the bottom of the pyramid, as C.K. Prahalad wrote in his book "The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid." He taught me that a long time ago at the University of Michigan and, though he was formulating this thesis 25 years ago (!), it's even more important and resonating today.
  • Posted on: 11/13/2017

    Are data sharing concerns still holding back true personalization?

    This issue is incredibly impactful in my world of health, healthcare and wellness. Patient/person-generated data like mood and stress, eating habits, activity and financial health all shape peoples' health status. Having a 360-degree view of the person beyond the healthcare claim (that is, what's in the pharmacy and health plan database) can help coach and nudge people toward health. If consumers aren't willing to share these data due to trust barriers, we'll not be able to move the needle on health care costs. Self-care and health engagement/activation underpin our ability to reduce unnecessary healthcare spending, as well as promote prevention and add life to years, not just years to life. Unfortunately, HIPAA doesn't cover patient-generated data from wearable tech, retail receipts, and other important information that represent the social determinants of health.
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