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● Mobile Computing


patients How mobile apps are infl uencing the future of health plan customer loyalty. By Aygun Suleymanova, Kony Solutions

who are grappling with the task of leveraging the mobile chan- nel to reach consumers, this creates the additional challenge of diff erentiating their mobile off erings among so many apps. T e Healthcare Reform Act is forcing health plans to shift their digital strategy from employer-centric to consumer- centric. Given this new model, health plans should step back and look at the industry’s best practices that have worked in other vertical markets – such as banking and retail – to build the right digital marketing strategy for consumers. But marketing to consumers is only a part of the value that mobility can deliver to health plans. Empowering patients by putting health information and tools right at their fi ngertips will dramatically transform engagement patterns between health plans and their members. Mobility will be key in: Increasing member satisfaction and loyalty; Reducing costs by engaging consumers in proactively man- aging their health; and Improving service experience. Health plans have already started strategizing to embrace


the value of mobility for patient empowerment, but it is in the execution that many organizations tend to stumble. Creating meaningful engagements with health plan mem-

bers at every stage of their membership – from acquisition, service and care to ongoing wellness management – requires careful consideration of the insurer’s mobile app portfolio, roadmap and execution tactics.

10 February 2013

ith more than 40,000 medical apps and 250 million downloads, mobile is clearly becoming a key channel for payers to reach healthcare consumers. For health insurers

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Multi-channel a key consideration T e major part of the Aff ordable Care Act, including man-

datory health plan insurance, will start taking eff ect on Jan. 1, 2014. T is date is pushing healthcare insurers to be more nimble in implementing a health plan app to service more than 47 million uninsured with at least basic functionalities, while simultaneously engaging existing members. Some are ahead of the game. For example, Aetna went live

with its fi rst mobile app in 2010, which it later rebuilt – with help from Kony – to better scale to multiple channels. De- livered in four months, the Aetna Mobile app now consists of nearly 100 screens and has been deployed across native channels for iOS, Android and Blackberry operating systems, as well as through the mobile Web using HTML5. Realizing the diversity of its member base, Aetna information is available to all members through its mobile app or on the mobile Web, regardless of which device or operating system members use. Aetna’s success with its mobile Web and apps demonstrates the value of adopting a truly multi-channel mobile strategy. One common pitfall for many health plans – under pressure

to deliver mobile apps quickly to cope with healthcare reform – has been to either select a single channel or platform, or to select HTML5 only. Industries with more history in serving consumers via mobile, such as banking and retail, have learned their lesson, and have realized a single-channel approach is unsustainable and doesn’t scale. T e mobile landscape evolves quickly, with new devices, platforms and browsers entering the market every month. T is fragmentation makes it both expensive and time consuming to maintain mobile apps that will reach all consumers.


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