Point-of-Sale Buyer Information Network (BuyIN)

Period of Performance: 09/15/2003 - 03/31/2008


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Innovative Health Information, LLC
Randolph, NJ 07869
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Incidences of drug-dietary supplement interactions in the adult U.S. population are high and expected to increase. The long-term goal of the proposed project is to reduce risks associated with the inadequately informed use of natural medicines by providing a reliable and widely available information resource to consumers. This resource, the Buyer Information Network (BuylN), will provide up-to-date, scientifically valid recommendations and warnings to consumers of dietary supplements at the cash register or point of sale. BuylN appends specially designed messages to receipts of customers who have purchased targeted items. Messages are downloaded from a remote server or local CD-ROM player. Information is provided by a qualified content provider and regularly updated. Specific aims in the first phase of the project are to demonstrate the technical feasibility of the BuylN approach and conduct pilot evaluation of its utility. In addition, the study will gather preliminary data on how BuylN influences consumer behavior and on the perceptions of consumers. Once these goals are achieved, the second phase of the project will: establish the scalability (expandability) of the approach; measure longer-term effects on consumer choices and behavior; explore additional CAM-related research opportunities; conduct key informant interviews with retailers, manufacturers and other stakeholders; and position for a commercial effort toward wide dissemination of the application. The research design uses several methods to achieve the goals of the study. These include visits to the BuylN Website as a quantitative indicator of interest, and a survey instrument. The survey will assess the effectiveness of the message delivery system including the effect of information delivered through BuylN on the future behavior and decisions of consumers.