This week health insurance company UnitedHealthcare launched a new mobile health app, Health4Me, that gives its employer plan customers access to a registered nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The app is currently only available for Apple iPhone or iPad users, but United plans to launch an Android version of the app this spring.
Health4Me is a free app that also helps users to locate nearby physicians, hospitals, and other medical facilities that are in their network. The app also gives users access to their personal health benefits information. The app also aims to streamline customer service questions for users by providing an “Easy Connect” feature that lets users select the type of question they have about their claims or benefits to receive a call back from a United customer service rep.
“Health4Me makes navigating health care easier for our 26 million plan participants and puts key information, including health and wellness tools, right in the palms of their hands,” Jeff Alter, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual, stated in a press release. “Today’s technology allows consumers to do more with their mobile devices, and Health4Me enables them to manage their health and interact with UnitedHealthcare in a way that is convenient for them.”
GreatCall’s Jitterbug mobile phone service for seniors launched a similar service for its users in early 2010, called Live Nurse. Jitterbug signed up 12,000 users in the first few months since the service launched during which is averaged about 4,000 calls per month. The majority of early adopters often called to better determine whether they should visit their physician or an emergency room. About half of those who called in with plans to visit their doc or ER decided the Live Nurse call answered their question and that they no longer planned an immediate visit. (This is similar to the thinking behind the UK government’s recent call for general practitioners to prescribe mobile health apps.)
For more on UnitedHealthcare’s Health4Me launch, read the full press release below: Keep reading>>