HMSA videos find an audience on cable TV
HMSA Now, the nation's first interactive, statewide health channel, has received more than 50,000 requests to view videos since it began last July, the Hawaii Medical Service Association reports.
The 10 most popular videos: Diabetes and Weight Control, the HealthPass Experience, Live Healthy (disc jockey Kutmaster Spaz's music video), Basic Skills for Controlling Diabetes, Overweight: Who's in Control?, Eat More/Weigh Less, Carb Confusion, Young and Overweight, Dual Member vs. Dual Coverage and Act in Time to Heart Attack Signs.
The on-demand digital cable channel, developed as a two-year pilot program, offers nearly 300 videos on fitness and nutrition, chronic conditions, cancer, weight management and many other topics.
Cancer, weight management, health events and HMSA programs were new categories added to HMSA Now's library in the past six months.
"HMSA Now helps educate Hawaii's health consumers about the importance of taking personal responsibility for their health and the role they play in keeping health care costs down," Cliff Cisco, HMSA senior vice president, said in a news release.
"After six months on the air, we're pleased with the response. We're also confident our members and our community will use HMSA Now regularly, once they give it a try."
HMSA Now is available free to all Oceanic digital cable subscribers on Channel 344, next to Discovery Health. It is available in 160,000 homes statewide and subscribers are growing, HMSA said.
Viewers may watch HMSA videos as often as they want, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for no charge. Using remote control, they can pause, replay, rewind and fast forward.
Oceanic President Nate Smith said the volume of requests HMSA Now has received to view its health care videos "is testimony to this changing dynamic, and the invaluable service this ease of access now provides the public."
Besides HMSA-produced videos, the channel includes presentations by the American Cancer Society, Dole Nutrition institute and National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, among others. Organizations are invited to submit videos on relevant health topics.
Upcoming community health events sponsored by HMSA and other organizations also are listed on HMSA Now.
Eric Tom, chief executive of Broadband iTV, which facilitated development of HMSA Now, said each video viewed "can potentially change a life. It is very satisfying to work with HMSA to provide this service to the community , and BBiTV looks forward to assisting other organizations throughout the country in creating similar interactive TV channels."
For more information, call 952-7539 on Oahu.