Aetna to launch international provider locator apps

By Chris Gullo
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aetna shangahiAetna plans to launch a handful of new apps within the next few weeks that allow members traveling internationally find nearby doctors, hospitals and other health care providers based on their GPS location, according to a company press release.

However, one app has already been released: Aetna Shanghai Provider Directory launched in October for iOS and Android. The free app uses the phone's GPS to locate providers in Aetna’s Shanghai network. Similar apps for Hong Kong, the Middle East and Europe will launch over the next few weeks, according to the company. Each app will feature a listing of nearby health care providers, including address and contact information, a map view, appointment information, links to the relevant information and forms, and calendar integration.

Aetna also updated its international website for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry to recognize a user's location and serve localized content in that region's primary language.

“This new web functionality is a critical step in Aetna’s continued efforts to make it easier for people to access content that is relevant to them and accessible in a manner they prefer,” stated Sandip Patel, head of Aetna International, in a press release.

This past summer, Aetna launched a service that allows doctors in Aetna’s Florida network to prescribe medication electronically via smartphone or tablet and receive care recommendations for their patients. The service is supported by NaviNet Mobile Connect and is free to Aetna subscribers.

Aetna launched an SMS-powered diabetes management service this past May. At AHIP last year Aetna announced pilot results following a study of the Intel Health Guide's efficacy as a platform for CHF patients.

Read the press release below.