UnitedHealthcare, Qualcomm collaborate on wellness mobile app powered by wearables

The goal is to help UnitedHealthcare plan participants enrolled in high-deductible health plans improve their health and save money by encouraging daily walking.
By Bill Siwicki
09:07 AM

LAS VEGAS – UnitedHealthcare and Qualcomm are collaborating on a new mobile health program dubbed UnitedHealthcare Motion that aims to boost wellness by linking financial incentives with the use of wearable devices. The goal is to help UnitedHealthcare plan participants enrolled in high-deductible health plans improve their health and save money by encouraging daily walking, while testing and building new connected health technologies for consumers.

The new wellness program provides plan participants with wearable devices at no additional charge and enables them to earn up to $1,460 per year by meeting certain goals for the number of daily steps. UnitedHealthcare Motion was showcased for the first time at this year’s 2016 Annual HIMSS Conference and Exhibition.

The collaboration between the two companies will seek to develop connected health systems to employees and consumers across the United States. The collaboration will focus on new UnitedHealthcare programs and services that incorporate the latest generation of wearables, medical devices and home diagnostic tests that use Qualcomm Life’s 2net Platform for medical-grade connectivity.

[Also: See photos from Day 3 of HIMSS16]

UnitedHealthcare Motion is now available to employers and their employees in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and Washington, D.C. Additional markets will be added later this year.

The wellness program and related fitness trackers are being offered initially to companies with 101 to 300 employees with a fully insured health plan. Employees and their covered spouses receive custom-designed wearable devices that track the number of steps users take each day. Unlike other wearable devices that simply track the total number of steps, the UnitedHealthcare Motion devices tabulate the total number, frequency and intensity of the steps taken, providing a more accurate and comprehensive summary of the user’s daily activity, the companies said.

The data then is sent to the UnitedHealthcare Motion app, which securely links to Qualcomm Life’s 2net Mobile connectivity platform. Employees can earn Health Reimbursement Account credits that can total up to $1,460 per year, while employers can obtain premium savings based on program participants’ combined results.

“We’re excited to collaborate with UnitedHealthcare to power its connected care solutions, starting with the UnitedHealthcare Motion program,” said James Mault, MD, vice president and chief medical officer at Qualcomm Life. “UnitedHealthcare’s leadership in innovation and broad reach across the United States, combined with Qualcomm Life’s medical-grade connectivity solutions, enables personalized, connected care to health care consumers nationwide.”

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT

This story is part of our ongoing coverage of the HIMSS16 conference. Follow our live blog for real-time updates, and visit Destination HIMSS16 for a full rundown of our reporting from the show. For a selection of some of the best social media posts of the show, visit our Trending at #HIMSS16 hub.

Want to get more stories like this one? Get daily news updates from Healthcare IT News.
Your subscription has been saved.
Something went wrong. Please try again.