News Column

3 health care apps you need to know

July 3, 2014

Lynette Gil



In this digital age where information is easily accessible on the Internet for everyone via multiple devices like tablets and smartphones, it is surprising that most people are still unaware of what is covered by their benefits. However, there are many programs and applications (known as "apps") that both consumers and advisors can use to help bridge that informational gap and help lower health care costs.

Here, we bring you the lastest applications and programs that are designed to help you and your clients learn more about benefits, gaps and needs. We are not endorsing any of these apps or software programs. This article is merely to show you where the digital world is moving and to bring you some tools that may help your client understand their benefits.

There's no doubt that digital is where the industry is headed. In one more recent reminder, Salesforce, the CRM cloud-based giant, announced last week that they are working with Philips to offer applications and an "open cloud-based, health care platform." According to The New York Times, "that means, they say, health care software developers, producers of medical devices, health care providers and insurance companies will be able to link to the Salesforce health cloud."

There are many more apps than those highlighted here, of course, some likely still in incubation. If you have additions to this list, let us know in the comments section.

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How it works:

MyHint helps clients manage their health; they just answer a type of quiz and the software then compares a user's health information across 1 million patient records to forecast their future health risks. The software application is available to both consumers and brokers, and in downloadable versions for a desktop computer, tablet or smartphone.

Who is it for?

Insurance brokers, corporate employers, medical providers, and users who want to understand the gaps in their current policies based on their health risks. The software shows them what types of benefits are most needed to fill those gaps. "For example, a broker will know that 70% of this group has diabetes and that John Smith is looking for a disability policy. The broker can send a user a message directly on the platform, so they are fully engaged before the broker goes to visit them personally," explained Clark Lagemann, COO of MyHint.

"Employers get the platform for free, users don't pay, and brokers get a higher conversion rate on policies () users don't have to worry about the carriers and employers have greater independence from the carriers, since their health information will be stored in a secure platform that they can access regardless of which insurance carrier they are working with," Lagemann said.

Background:

MyHint was designed by behavioral psychologists from Rutgers University and their recommendations are created by physicians, "so there is a great degree of clinical oversight," according to Lagemann. Some of their clients include brokers from Aflac, Allstate, regional offices, the City of Newark and a regional office of the Veterans Benefit Administration.

Awards:

Top 5 at TechWeek NYC, called the Hottest Healthcare Startup in NYC by Techcocktail, and won the Hightide for Healthcare competition in Arizona.

RxAnte helps with medication adherence

How it works:

RxAnte determines the patients who need support to follow through with taking their medication program. They take into account the patients' profile, and their "predictive analytic technology" lets them know the patients' future adherence to the prescription medication program, thus helping to lower health care costs. The system also evaluates what is and what is not working for the patients, and alerts the user about the findings.

Who is it for?

Health plans, pharmacy benefit managers, providers, care management organizations and pharmaceutical companies.

Background:

The product was launched in 2011 and it was founded by clinicians and researchers "who are national experts in the field of medication use," according to their website. You can read more about their research on the RxAnte Lab website.

Some of their current and past clients include WellCare, Coventry Health Care, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, CVS Caremark, Aetna.

Awards:

RxAnte is a Patent pending platform. They were also featured in Forbes at the beginning of the year.

Castlight: a health care cloud

How it works:

Their cloud-based software helps employers gain control over health care spending. They have "four solution centers" that "enable employers to deliver cost-effective benefits, provide medical professionals and () empower employees to make informed healthcare choices with a clear understanding of costs and likely outcomes," according to the website. Of those solutions centers, one provides a dashboard for patients that helps them evaluate medical costs, while employers have a benefits-management tool that lets them make benefit programs more effective.

Who is it for?

Both employers and employees.

Background:

It was founded in 2008 by Todd Park, Bryan Roberts and Giovanni Colella and their "technology enables employers to deliver world-class benefits to their people and empowers employees with the information they need to make better healthcare decisions for themselves and their families".

Some of their current or past customers are Butler University, Indiana University, CVS Caremark, Liberty Mutual, NCAA, OneAmerica, Tesla, ConAgra, Allegis, the State of Indiana, Purdue University, and more.

Awards:

Castlight was finalist for the Red Herring Top 100 Americas Award and Fast Company named it one the world's most innovative companies of 2012.


For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel



Source: LifeHealthPro


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