Using mobile apps to empower people

Our lives are becoming increasingly mobile. We’re using smartphones, tablets and mobile applications to manage our lives—and our health—on the go. Approximately 95 million people used mobile phones to access health information in 2013, according to a 2013 Manhattan Research study.

We’re also using our phones and apps to track health attributes such as weight, diet and exercise. Seven in 10 U.S. adults report tracking at least one health indicator, and of those keeping tabs on their health, 21% say they use some form of technology to do so, notes a 2013 Pew Research study.

Humana’s mission for mobile health

As technology continues to evolve, so will its ability to help people transform their health. Humana believes healthcare mobile technology should empower people with the tools they need to manage their health and wellness.

With this in mind, Humana and its Digital Center of Excellence are on a journey to deliver mobile apps that place a high level of importance on user expectations and experiences. Humana-created apps adhere to a core set of principles that focus on people’s unique needs:

  • "Know me:" Have customizable features that understand individual preferences.
  • "Show me:" Anticipate people’s needs.
  • "Make it easy:" Simplify the health and wellness process.
  • "Help me:" Give people the tools they need to manage their health successfully.

There’s a wide array of apps to choose from when it comes to tracking health. Consumers today can select from more than 40,000 health and wellness apps available to download to their phones, notes a 2014 IMS Institute For Healthcare Informatics study.

With the availability of so many choices in health apps, the key to building an app that’s used again and again—creating a “health partner for life” relationship between a person and the app—is customization. Roughly 60% of people using apps are more likely to use an app again if it is personalized, according to a 2013 Artisan Research study.

How Humana apps are making it easy

Humana applies the prevailing thinking around the personalization of its mobile apps, available for Apple and Android users. Each app has different and specific capabilities, and each app focuses its capabilities in a way that relates to the individual consumer. The focus is on making the mobile experience easy so that the user truly can improve his or her health. Humana’s mobile app capabilities will continue to expand. Currently, the apps include:

  • MyHumana: This core Humana app empowers people to understand, organize and track their healthcare. Members can view their coverage and benefits as well as claims and spending account information. The app’s Finder tool makes locating a doctor, hospital or urgent care facility quick and easy. Members can also price drugs, find a pharmacy, refill Humana RightSource prescriptions and receive medication reminders.
  • MyHealth by Humana: This app helps people take an active role in managing their health, especially for chronic conditions such as hypertension. By providing an intuitive and convenient way to track blood pressure and weight over time, people can manage their conditions, share measurements and prescriptions with doctors and family members, find locations to take blood pressure readings for free, and connect to other Humana apps for additional functionality.
  • HumanaPharmacy: This app works with Humana’s mail-order pharmacy to allow Humana insurance and HumanaPharmacy members to refill prescriptions easily through the use of a QR reader or by taking photos of prescription bottles. The app features medication reminders and rewards users with “Healthy Day” badges when they remember to take their medications. The Medicine Cabinet feature makes it easy to manage multiple prescriptions by displaying them in one place. Users can view order status and track prescription shipments on the go, as well as update shipping and billing information.
  • go365: Humana’s well-being program members can access wellness and fitness information through this app by taking a health risk assessment, by participating in wellness challenges and by earning points. The easy-to-use custom dashboard allows members with employer-sponsored insurance plans to create and track personal wellness goals and milestones from their smartphones.
  • Cue by Humana: Using simple nudges, Cue reminds iPhone and Apple Watch users to drink water, get up and move around, stretch, focus on breathing or posture, and go outside for some fresh air. By tracking how many times one successfully completes a Cue, a user can see how he or she is doing at building healthy habits.
  • Humana GearSync: This app reads the step data from a user’s pedometer and uploads it via the Internet to the Humana well-being program website.