Independence Blue Cross app helps patients manage chronic health issues

Independence Blue Cross is offering members a free self-management app for chronic health issues and the response from users so far is positive, according to the health insurer. 

Independence Blue Cross has deployed CareCam Health System's phone and tablet software to members suffering with diabetes and asthma in an effort to help patients be proactive in care management, according to an announcement.

The app provides a daily, customized schedule of activities for each member's lifestyle, and helps friends, family and caregivers support patients' management efforts and track healthcare progress. The app also provides one-touch access to vLearning, an interactive online video library offering resources and insight on healthcare topics.

It's the first mHealth app initiative for Independence, the announcement says, and the diabetic and asthmatic patient populations were chosen because of the potential for costly complications related to poor management.

"The primary incentive for members is to be able to feel more in control of their condition and improve their health," Daniel J. Hilferty, president and CEO of Independence, told FierceMobileHealthcare in an email interview.

"Independence intends to incorporate CareCam as an option into their existing Wellness Programs. For example, Independence's Healthy Lifestyles programs offer cash rewards, discounts, and reminders designed to help members and their families lead healthier lives," he said.

Independence joins a growing list of providers tapping mHealth tools and tech to boost chronic care management and engage patients in self-management tasks.

For example, a New Jersey healthcare provider is deploying a mobile coaching platform to enhance and improve high-needs Medicaid patient care and another developed its own mHealth app bar, a la Apple's retail store, to provide patients, staff and visitors tech support and training on mobile software and devices. In addition, a Florida provider is tapping a mobile app and tablets to foster better communication among caregivers and enhance its patients' hospital experiences.

The CareCam app reminds users about daily care tasks, from checking sugar levels for those with diabetes, to measuring breathing rates for asthmatics. Patients get real time personal feedback on progress and are provided daily, weekly and monthly summaries of care actions that can be shared with physicians.

For more information:
- read the announcement

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