Health Plans are finding new ways to bring value to consumers by empowering them with tools and guidance to manage their health while on the go.
At many conferences, health plans present their newest mobile application or texting campaign to engage consumers.
UnitedHealth Group announced their latest move at the recent Consumer Electronics Show to integrate several mobile health applications into their OptumizeMe solution, through partnerships with CareSpeak Communications, FitNow and FitBit. UnitedHealth is integrating content and tools to bring new capabilities to both consumers and caregivers.
Through the CareSpeak Communications’ partnership, consumers sign up to receive two-way texts to help them manage their medication and condition. UnitedHealth delivers CareSpeak’s personalized messaging to provide relevant content to each consumer segment ( e.g. asthma, diabetes, cancer, etc). A patient with diabetes opts in to receive customized education and reminder messages and can give a caregiver permission to monitor her health. The patient’s clinician is also kept in the loop with medication and condition management data to discuss during patient interactions. Patients are further engaged by receiving text based educational quizzes and viewing online reporting showing their effectiveness in managing their medication and condition over time.
With the integration of FitNow’s Lose It! mobile app, consumers can better manage their weight through fitness and food tracking tools, educational nutrition information, motivational reminders and social peer support.
From the FitBit integration, consumers automatically track their physical activity instead of having to key it in. Since this activity data is no longer self reported, UnitedHealth Group can use validated information to drive their rewards program. The FitBit app also tracks the consumer’s sleeping behavior for a more complete view of their health.
Integration Delivers Insight
UnitedHealth Group has invested in this set of mobile technologies to capture and connect multiple sources of data for a holistic view covering the consumer’s physical activity, dietary behavior, medication adherence, biometric and mood information.
“With these partnerships in place, we are connecting all the pieces of data across our platform for a common view for the consumer to self manage and share with their coach while creating a personalized experience”, explains Nick Martin, VP Innovation and R&D, UnitedHealth Group.
This supports the trend for “integrated end to end health to care solutions” where technology connects with care management platforms and programs, as noted by IDC Health Insights’ analyst Janice Young.
Coach/CareGiver & Consumer Collaboration
Nick Martin describes how the OptumizeMe application is being used by the consumer with their coach. “Let’s say you are trying to lose weight. Your coach can push messages to your mobile which are educational and supportive. And if you give your coach permission, she can see your tracked physical activity”. Think about how much more motivated and accountable the consumer will feel when her coach is monitoring and responding to her daily progress. On the health side, the asthma patient can give access to her caregiver to monitor and address medication compliance issues. Her caregiver can also send encouraging and educational messages between visits.
UnitedHealth’s partnerships deliver new capabilities to their OptumizeMe mobile app giving consumers a new way to remain in close contact with their coach and to self manage with the social support from caregivers. With the power of the personalized information pushed and pulled from the consumer’s mobile phone, UnitedHealth Group can successfully generate both stronger consumer engagement and better health outcomes.