UnitedHealth Group Announces New Strategic Partnerships with Mobile Health Technology Firms

January 09, 2012
  • CareSpeak Communications, Lose It! and Fitbit offer mobile technologies designed to help improve and enhance consumers’ health and well-being
  • CEOs of these three companies to present at UnitedHealth Group’s exhibitor booth at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas

UnitedHealth Group has announced strategic partnerships with three health technology companies that offer mobile products and services designed to help improve consumers’ health and well-being.

UnitedHealth Group’s new business partners — CareSpeak Communications, Lose It! and Fitbit — help simplify the consumer health care experience by making relevant, practical information easier to access by using consumer-friendly technology devices such as smartphones and other mobile devices.

“Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the way that people take control of their health. UnitedHealth Group is committed to developing innovative solutions, and we look forward to working with such creative partners as CareSpeak Communications, Lose It! and Fitbit to help people live healthier lives,” said Rick Jelinek, executive vice president and CEO of Emerging Business Group at UnitedHealth Group.

CareSpeak Communications has developed a medication and disease management application that helps patients manage their health using two-way text messaging on their mobile phones. The CareSpeak system can be used by individual patients to self-manage their therapies, by a pharmaceutical company or pharmacy to provide alerts as a value-added service to their customers, by a health benefits provider to help plan participants manage their health, and by clinicians to manage their patients’ health. The technology enables patients to report, via text message, their medication intakes and biometric data (blood glucose levels, blood pressure, weight, etc.) to their clinician and/or care providers, and receive educational and motivational messages, incentives and rewards for meeting their health goals.

“We are thrilled to work with UnitedHealth Group — one of the largest and most sophisticated health care companies in the world,” said Serge Loncar, founder and CEO, CareSpeak Communications. “Finding innovative ways to improve clinical outcomes is of great significance, and we share UnitedHealth Group’s commitment in doing just that.”

Lose It!, created by FitNow Inc., is a mobile app and website that helps consumers manage their weight and improve their health by tracking their progress, offering peer support, and providing important caloric and nutritional information on what they eat. The mobile app is available for iPhones and Android devices.

“Healthy weight and nutrition management are key to helping people be happier and healthier, but are also critical to managing health care costs,” said Charles Teague, CEO, FitNow Inc. “Millions of people have used our tools to help them lose weight — more than 7 million pounds to date. We look forward to working with UnitedHealth Group to further leverage our technology and reach even more people.”

Fitbit offers a sleek, wireless tracker that includes an accelerometer to more accurately count how many steps a user takes, and an altimeter to track stairs climbed. The device also calculates how many calories are burned. The mobile device is also a sleep monitor that tracks both how long and how well the user sleeps. The information can be uploaded wirelessly to Fitbit.com where consumers can analyze their physical activity.

Fitbit will be integrated with the OptumizeMe® mobile health app developed by UnitedHealth Group’s health services company, Optum. OptumizeMe engages and empowers consumers to achieve health goals and encourages healthy behaviors. With coaching, relevant and personalized content, and connection to social networks, OptumizeMe also lets people create health challenges — with friends, co-workers and others — to help achieve health and fitness goals.

“Physical activity is paramount in helping people improve their health and well-being. Fitbit is dedicated to developing innovative and simple ways to motivate and empower consumers to achieve the results they want for their health and fitness,” said James Park, co-founder and CEO, Fitbit.

Loncar, Teague and Park will be featured speakers this week at UnitedHealth Group’s exhibitor booth at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. UnitedHealth Group is participating in CES to showcase the health and well-being company’s innovative technology products and services to help consumers live healthier lives and help improve and enhance the health care system.

The 3,500-square-foot booth will feature Microsoft Xbox with Kinect fitness challenges, real-time biometric screenings, presentations by leading health experts, innovative product and service demonstrations, and more. UnitedHealth Group will also provide a cyber café with Internet-enabled workstations and a coffee lounge area for CES attendees. UnitedHealth Group’s own experts will present as part of the CES Digital Health Summit and the Silvers Summit.

For more on UnitedHealth Group’s presence at CES as well as the company’s booth, fitness challenges and speaking engagements, please visit www.ceshealth.com or follow @CESHealth on Twitter.

About CareSpeak Communications
CareSpeak Communications provides mobile communications technology solutions to health care professionals, patients, and caregivers for better medication and clinical compliance, resulting in improved outcomes. The company offers its services to clinical organizations, insurers, payers, benefit managers, and the pharmaceutical industry. CareSpeak Communications is a privately held company, headquartered in New Jersey. Visit www.carespeak.com for more information.

About Fitbit
Founded in 2007 in San Francisco, CA, Fitbit is dedicated to delivering simple, innovative health and fitness products and services that help people lead healthier, more active lives by giving them the tools to become more aware, more motivated and more fit every day. Fitbit’s Ultra Wireless Activity + Sleep Tracker is the leading wireless fitness tracker on the market, with distribution at leading national retailers such as Amazon.com, Best Buy, Brookstone, Radio Shack, REI and Target. Fitbit is funded by the Foundry Group, True Ventures and SoftTech VC. For more information please visit www.fitbit.com or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

About Lose It!
Lose It! is a mobile application and website that uses proven principles of weight loss tracking and peer support to help users manage their weight. Lose It! is available directly to consumers, but can also be incorporated into corporate wellness or professionally administered weight loss programs, as a tool to help manage populations. More than 10 million people have used Lose It! on their mobile device or on the web since 2008. FitNow, Inc., the creator of Lose It!, is a privately held company headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Learn more at www.loseit.com or download Lose It! from your mobile device's app store.

About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making health care work better. With headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. Through its businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves more than 75 million people worldwide. For more information, visit UnitedHealth Group at www.unitedhealthgroup.com.  

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