This week Aetna added two more mobile health app developers as partners. One is now a part of its CarePass Sync Platform, which is where it has nestled iTriage -- the startup it acquired last year -- as it continues to build up its ACO strategy. MapMyFitness, a fitness app developer that has a number of apps and more than 9 million users, now integrates with CarePass. Meanwhile, GoodRx -- a cost transparency tool for medications -- is now working with Aetna to provide data to developers looking to build apps with APIs managed by Aetna.
While I had heard some rumors that Aetna had snapped up a fitness apps company, apparently, if that happened it's not this one. To be clear: Aetna did not acquire either of these two companies, an Aetna spokesperson told me this week: "This is not an iTriage-like acquisition," she said. As if to make that abundantly clear, MaypMyFitness also raised $9 million in new funding this week.
Aetna has been on the prowl for other winning mobile health apps since it scooped up iTriage last year. At last month's Health 2.0 event here in Boston Aetna said it was looking for a number of such companies to partner with and held discussions with some during the event's Matchpoint speed dating service for companies large and small.
CarePass Sync helps move health-related data between apps enabled with the technology. Once a person has downloaded a CarePass Sync enabled app, they can choose to enable sync, and agree to give the app permission to accessed certain components of their CarePass Synch "personal health cloud", as Aetna calls it.
"Everything else happens behind the scenes," Aetna explains in a recent statement. "For example, go for a run and the distance is automatically added to the user’s personal health cloud; open a participating nutrition app and the calories from the run are automatically figured into the daily caloric intake."
Aetna explains that the platform helps users more easily share information across apps to "create a personalized, coherent experience to manage their whole health", which includes "getting care to staying well". Aetna is looking for more mobile health tools to add to the platform. Consumers can begin using the CarePass Sync technology later this month on June 18.
The addition of MapMyFitness by Aetna is a big move for the company. In its earliest stages CarePass is already beginning to cobble together a patchwork of mobile fitness and health apps -- whether through acquisition or partnership -- that is unlike most other health plans' strategies. CarePass will include a user's fitness data, nutrition data, claims data, insurance data, information about the user's doctors through iTriage, and other data like medications and more.
At the Health Datapalooza this week in Washington DC, Aetna's VP of CarePass, Martha Wofford, said that next steps are to integrate data about a user's diet, include a personal health record (PHR), and their data from the pharmacy.
"We have come to terms with the fact that to get to some of that awesomeness," Wofford said during her remarks on the mainstage of the Datapalooza, "We actually need to bring people from outside our four walls who can think about things differently than our insurance company."