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Humana, Validic partnership to focus on accessibility of health incentive programs

The collaboration is meant to spur more engagement in the Go360 program by allowing a broad range of wearables and connected devices.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Humana and Validic, a company that specializes in solutions for personal health data, have announced a collaboration aimed at bolstering device connectivity and the use of data in Humana's Go365 wellness and rewards program.

The goal of the partnership is to offer Humana's members an opportunity to connect hundreds of wearables, health apps and in-home medical devices to their program, encompassing everything from high-end, high-tech smartwatches to low-cost, medically necessary blood glucose monitors.

In that way, the Humana-Validic collaboration is poised to enable members to connect their health technologies to their wellness program, including a growing number of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. The partnership increases access to Go365, a wellness solution that incentivizes its members to achieve their best health.

WHAT'S THE IMPACT

The concept of connecting disparate health technologies to the wellness program has been dubbed "bring-your-own-device," or BYOD. It's meant to ensure that members are more deeply engaged in the program since they would have the option to use a device or smartphone app with which they're already comfortable.

The approach may allow the partnership to achieve some traction in light of data from Pew Research Center showing that 96% of the U.S. population has a smartphone; meanwhile, 35% of those who own health-enabled wearable technology use a device not manufactured by one of the top five wearable vendors.

BYOD effectively ensures that more members are able to participate in the wellness program since they'll have access regardless of their technology preference, savvy or ability to afford a high-end device.

Go365, replete with educational content and personalization features, aims to change users' lifestyle behaviors in ways that reduce the risk of chronic conditions. Among its features are activity challenges and individually tailored awards, meant to meet members where they are in their health journey.

Humana and Validic plan to expand the devices and data points available in Go365 to address additional health barriers, such as nutrition, smoking cessation and mental health.

THE LARGER TREND

An analysis of data from more than 10,000 Humana employees enrolled in the Go365 program demonstrated a link between long-term engagement and employees' health, productivity and costs, according to a five-year study by the insurer.

Highly engaged members had 35% fewer emergency room visits and 30% fewer hospital admissions than low-engaged members. In year five, highly engaged members paid a per member per month average of $116 (or 22%) less in healthcare than low-engaged members.

Members earn rewards, including e-gift cards, fitness devices and apparel, product discounts and charitable donations for completing healthy activities such as health assessments, preventive screenings and fitness activities. But those who refuse to participate incur fees, according to Associations Now and The New Republic, which reported fees of $25 a month.

Twitter: @JELagasse

Email the writer: jeff.lagasse@himssmedia.com