Independence Blue Cross app lets users multi-task

By Ashley Gold

The Independence Blue Cross (IBX) app is a multi-tasker: Members can use it to find doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, urgent care centers and patient-centered medical homes, access benefit information, track deductibles, fax or email copies of ID cards to physicians, check the status of referrals and claims, view health history and upload photos of symptoms.

The Philadelphia-based insurer released its flagship mobile application, IBX Mobile, in December 2012. It's been downloaded about 25,000 times.

Kenneth Russo, director of IBX's consumer digital engagement team, told FierceHealthIT that IBX recognized the importance in investing in the app's functionality across platforms--it's available for Android, iOS and for Windows 8 tablets.

"The app is part of how we get business. [It helps us] look out for our members, which in turn reduces our costs," Russo said.

This year, IBX is focused on enhancing the app to help members manage their medical awareness and maintenance. Russo wants to enhance the app to provide preventative care alerts to members.

To do so, IBX will enhance middleware to send push notifications from their data warehouse. They'll look at medical adherence and other trends to send reminds to members.

"[The app] is letting people manage their health and wellness and well-being themselves and empowering people to do that," Russo said.

Independence Blue Cross app lets users multi-task