Cigna app taps psychological assessment to drive improved user health

Health insurance provider Cigna is debuting its newest version of Coach by Cigna 2.0, a free mHealth app tapping the psychology of assessment to provide users specific programs for managing health and lifestyle decisions.

The second generation Coach asks users 20 questions to understand diet, exercise and sleep habits so it can provide custom insight, via videos and health coach support, to help patients lead healthier lives. The answers determine if a user is either a "planner," "explorer," or "day dreamer," and lets users pick a program to track daily progress in meeting health goals.

The focus of the app is to understand a user's needs and provide advice and insight from coaching experts in fitness, weight loss, mindfulness and nutrition.

"Even more than that, however, the app features our expertise in consumer engagement and activation for adopting healthy behaviors," Joseph Mondy, Cigna public relations director, told FierceMobileHealthcare in an email interview. "We use the psychology of lateral assessment to identify your personality type, understand your wants, needs and preferences, and provide the right programs. Moreover, we are also experts in triggering activation, setting achievable, incremental goals for the individual and validating success, all of which leads to sustained behavior change."

The news comes about a month after Cigna announced it was reaping rewards from its digital coaching program, Cigna Health Matters, which was created in October 2014 and saw its official launch in January of this year. Cigna told FierceMobileHealthcare at the time that it was working on a new pilot--Cigna Compass--a Web application that uses anticipatory computing to guide customers to proactively build a personal healthcare team, save money and get the most from their plans.

The Coach app, Mondy said, is tied to Cigna's effort to engage with users and support healthy behavior in the mobile device realm as that's where users are these days.

"The fundamental tenant for establishing an affordable and sustainable health care system is health improvement," he said. "More than half of all health care costs stem from conditions that can be avoided or fixed by health behavior change. Central to our approach of engaging and activating consumers' healthy behaviors is to meet individuals where they are, and where they are is on their mobile devices."

Going forward Cigna aims to expand and refine Coach capabilities with more enhancements arriving later this year.

For more information:
- read the announcement (.pdf)

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