UnitedHealthcare adds Samsung, Garmin trackers to employee wellness platform Motion

By Laura Lovett
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UnitedHealthcare members who participate the insurer's UnitedHealthcare Motion employee wellness program, will now be available to use Samsung and Garmin trackers in addition to Fitbit devices. 

“Our members are consumers and they have relationships and affinities to brands and we want to be supportive of that,” Paul Sterling, vice president of emerging products for UnitedHealthcare, told MobiHealthNews. “Our objective is to provide a program that will engage employees [so they can] take steps to manage their own health.”

The employer-sponsored wellness app was launched in 2016 and collects activity data which it reports back to insurance providers, usually giving the wearer monetary incentives to exercise. UnitedHealthcare Motion is powered by Qualcomm Life’s 2net platform.

The program is available to employers or self-funded and fully insured health plans nationwide. The program lets employees earn up to $4 a day towards health reimbursement funds or $3 a day towards health savings accounts. Each year employees could earn more than $1,000. The company reports that participants have earned $19 million in rewards thus far. 

Participants can earn the money by meeting certain goals which the company breaks into three categories frequency, intensity, and tenacity (FIT). The requirements include completing 500 steps within seven minutes six times per day, at least an hour apart; completing 3,000 steps within 30 minutes; and completing 10,000 steps a day. 

Even if a participant doesn’t meet all three goals in any given day he or she can still earn some of the cash if one or two of the requirements is met. 

“We’ve designed criteria that applies to the broadest set in a general population. They are achievable 'microbehavior' changes, that is the objective,” said Sterling. 

He went on to say that evidence has shown physical activity has impact on acute and long term wellbeing.  

The company reports that of all eligible participants, 66 percent registered their devices and more than two-thirds of those participants stayed active on the program for more than a year. The product is available in 40 states and Washington D.C.

Last January UnitedHealthcare announced Motion would be available to Fitbit’s Charge 2.

“Todays news is really all about expansion of the program and wearable devices,” said Sterling.  “Our objective is to find and work with the best in that industry in providing choice and flexibility.”