MobiHealthNews recently interviewed Dr. Richard Migliori, executive vice president of UnitedHealth Group, about the payor’s mobile health strategy, activities, apps and services. Migliori said that mobile health can help improve access to care and help the increasingly overburdened physician base better meet the needs of patients. Migliori explained the role of mobile apps backed by employer incentives in bringing about the payer’s vision for mobile health. Interestingly, United, itself, is among those employers that are using mobile health apps to help employees achieve wellness benchmarks.
Here’s an edited transcript of our interview with Dr. Migliori:
What is UnitedHealth Group’s mobile health strategy?
For us, our mobile health strategy is one in which we try to make the healthcare system work better for more people. Currently, the ability for people to access more sophisticated tools that we and others in our industry have built has been constrained to just a few different routes. One of which is nurses calling patients to share insights about healthcare analytics. Another is mailings to peoples’ homes, and those frequently get ignored. Still another route is through [Internet] portals that tend to have varying levels of adoption. What we look at mobile health as is an opportunity, not as an end in itself, but as a means by which people can take advantage of the informational assets that we can bring to help them make better health decisions.
Also, we are starting to recognize that there is an opportunity to link better with the physicians that are serving our clients (their patients) by providing them with better access to our data. Day to day decisions made by both patients and physicians are the greatest determinants of effectiveness of healthcare. We have spent the last few decades building decision support capabilities by analyzing claim data and other data streams, including pharmacy data, laboratory data, health risk assessment data, biometric data, and the like. We provide people a reflection back on the data that has been submitted on their behalf so that they can recognize the challenges that are confronting them on a personal level. We can then provide them with some — if not advice — at least some recognized opportunities that they should consider.
As I said, we have been providing people with those insights through various routes, but what we have found is that when we use mobility — telecommunications and other forms of electronics — we are able to reach more people. So, what we are focusing on is using this mobile health technology to help people make better decisions.
So far, what kind of insights or information has United provided through mobile platforms? Keep reading>>