Humana launched HumanaVitality this week, a program that uses a points-based rewards system to encourage healthy behavior and wellness education. HumanaVitality is a joint venture between Humana and the Vitality program parent company, South Africa-based Discovery Holdings.
We first reported on HumanaVitality back in February, during an interview with Humana’s CSO Paul Kusserow: “We have this integrated wellness program now but we know we need to figure out how to put it through mobile apps to drive engagement,” he told MobiHealthNews. “We are talking to a lot of people to get ideas there.” Details surrounding mobile components of the platform remain unannounced.
HumanVitality members first receive a health assessment to determine their “Vitality Age,” a “scientifically calculated” number that offers a representation of their risk-adjusted “true” age, and teaches members how their current behaviors are impacting their health. Members are then given “personal pathways, recommended goals to help improve their health based on their individual health needs.” They can choose from more than 30 activities, divided between four categories: Fitness, Healthy Living, Prevention, and Education. In addition, children can earn Vitality Points by receiving immunizations, flu shots and participating in team sports.
“With up to 70 percent of the nation’s health care budget consumed by behavioral issues including tobacco use, poor diet, inactivity and stress, we are encouraged that we can offer members a path and tools for change with HumanaVitality,” stated Sean Slovenski, HumanaVitality CIO, in a press release. “This program works and we’re eager to help Humana members across the country get started on the road to better health and better lives.”
Points earned during the activities allow members to progress from the beginner Blue Level status through Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Each level offers increasing rewards, like electronics, hotel stays or consumer discounts at the HumanaVitality Mall. HumanaVitality is included with Humana commercial members’ medical plans when they begin a new plan year with Humana, but unavailable to Humana Medicare members.
It is surprising that the HumanaVitality launch does not include mobile apps or services that help users stay with the program. Kusserow isn’t the only Humana C-level executive to acknowledge the importance of mobile for consumer health engagement: In a contributed article to MobiHealthNews last November, Humana SVP and Chief Innovation and Marketing Officer Raja Rajamannar argued that mobile games could help reduce ER visits. In May Humana signed on as one of MobileStorm’s beta users for its healthcare messaging offering. Last summer the health plan kicked off its mobile games for health initiative.
Given the health plan’s recent focus on mobile, the smart money is on mobile apps for HumanaVitality coming soon.
More in Humana’s press release here.