UnitedHealth launches another mobile app for 24/7 nurse access

UnitedHealth has launched a new mobile app, which already is proving popular among its members. As UnitedHealth's third mobile app offering, it provides 24/7 access to nurses and members' own healthcare information, among other features.

The new app, called Health4Me, allows users to access registered nurses, locate nearby in-network doctors and other medical facilities and view their health benefits information. "It's really an application designed toward helping the consumers navigate the healthcare system and access information in a way that is meaningful while they are on the run," Nick Martin, vice president of innovation, research and development at UnitedHealth Group, told MedCity News.

Although UnitedHealth already has a mobile website, which attracted 270,000 visits in January, the app is even more convenient for people, allowing them to store on their phone various information, such as notes from doctors' visits, deductible balances and ID cards, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported. Since the app was made available a few days ago, there have been about 10,000 downloads, Martin said.

Health4Me also includes an "Easy Connect" option where users can choose the type of questions they have about their claims and benefits and request a callback to their mobile phone from a UnitedHealth customer service representative. Other features allow users to download their ID card and email it directly from the mobile device to the doctor or hospital, record personal notes from doctor visits and view deductible and out-of-pocket spending information, according to Mobile Marketing Watch.

UnitedHealth's mobile app strategy stems from consumer trends.

"The first [trend] is around health achievement ... They want to get motivated and stay motivated," Bill Feller, UnitedHealth vice president of innovation and R&D and chief information officer of the emerging business group, said in a past interview with FierceHealthPayer about beneficiaries.

"We also looked at another key trend in the market space around system navigation. People want help and advice in managing their pain, or they've got a surgery coming up and they want to see alternatives, or they simply want help finding a doctor who is providing the care they want and is in their network, or they want something simple like understanding their claims. People want to feel empowered to make their choices in the healthcare system to do things like control[ing] their costs," he said.

The Health4Me app is available on Apple iPhones and iPads, but UnitedHealth plans to release an Android version within a few months.

To learn more:
- see the Minneapolis Star-Tribune article
- read the MedCity News article
- check out the Mobile Marketing Watch article

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