HCSC's mobile app bets on meditation to improve wellness

Health Care Services Corporation (HCSC)--the nation's largest mutual health insurer--has experienced early success with its mobile wellness app, Centered.

Centered's concept is to bring a "holistic approach to stress management by combining exercise and mindful meditation," according to Healthcare Payer News.

The app, which is available to iPhone 5S and later models, works as an activity tracker and a meditation guide. It encourages users to stop and take a pause, think about non work-related matters and to just breathe.

The idea stemmed from an Adler School of Professional Psychology and the University of Massachusetts Medical School study that pinpointed how meditation helped reduced stress and increased an individual's ability to focus, noted the article.

Centered aims to distinguish itself from the rest of the wellness apps out there. "There are a lot of wellness apps, and they seemed to fall into two camps, activity and stress reduction," Darren Rodgers, HCSC's chief marketing officer, told HCPN. "We thought that since there are linkages between the two, we wanted to create something that combines them."

HCSC incorporate Centered with a new behavioral health program recently offered to employees at offices in New Mexico and Texas. The program consisted of daily mindfulness-based stress reduction exercises over an eight-week period; it reduced stress levels while increasing participants' ability to pay attention while completing key tasks, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

Currently, the app is available to both HCSC members and non members; it has 107 ratings with an average of 3.5 stars in the Apple store.

For more:
- here's the Healthcare Payer News article