With recent investments and pilot projects announced, Aetna, along with WellPoint, UnitedHealth Group and their competitors, say they are serious about being a major part of the mobile heath movement.
Aetna purchased iTriage, formerly Healthagen, the maker of the popular iTriage app, for an undisclosed sum in September 2011. The app allows the user to enter symptoms to check them against common diseases and learn more about a given procedure or diagnosis and check for nearby physicians, clinics and hospitals.
WellPoint and Verizon Wireless launched a pilot program in which 100 WellPoint members with chronic diseases are given a smartphone and assigned a coach whom the member is invited to contact any time, day or night — not just by phone call, but by videoconferencing over the 4G network.
UnitedHealth Group announced Jan. 9 that it launched a series of partnerships with mobile technology companies. Among them: CareSpeak, which offers a two-way texting application for medication adherence
All of the large health plans say they aren’t interested in replacing physicians with an app but rather helping members figure out when a doctor’s care is necessary, then connecting the patient and doctor using mobile technology.