A year after announcing its mobile launch from the mHealth Summit stage, Aetna announced a major shift for it's Carepass platform, introducing its first two partner apps for medication adherence and stress management, Janssen Innovation's Care4Today mobile health manager and meQuilibrium's meQ app.
"What we like about the Care4Today application is it's available to everybody," CarePass head and Aetna VP Martha Wofford told MobiHealthNews. "It doesn't matter if you're taking aspirin or vitamins, you can use the tool and it really can help you remember to take your medications. They're also a Class I regulated medical device, which is something that is a good approach, so it's a partner we're excited to be announcing."
Janssen, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, recently announced a completely overhauled version of Care4Today, designed in-house. The Care4Today-CarePass integration will feed weekly and monthly medication adherence summaries into CarePass's dashboard, where an adherence tracker will be displayed alongside a user's activity, nutrition, and sleep tracking bars. Janssen's David Tripi said the iOS version of Care4Today is currently integrated with CarePass, and the Android version will be connected by the end of the year.
Wofford said CarePass fully intends to branch out to other medication adherence apps once it's tested the waters with Care4Today, and that future integrations with Care4Today and other companies will be bi-directional; as well as apps feeding into CarePass, CarePass will optionally send Aetna members' medication information to their adherence apps. That means that, as Wofford told MobiHealthNews last summer, CarePass will soon start to deal in patient health information.
"Obviously when an app developer is looking to integrate around PHI we're going to have a hurdle there making sure they're the right entity to even be able to ask our members [for their PHI]," Wofford said.
The meQ app will be CarePass's first stress or mood app, and Wofford said that though it's not quite rolled out yet, stress will also have its own dashboard indicator that future stress trackers can interact with.
"We look at stress as being a really critical problem which results in a lot of health and productivity issues for consumers and employers," Wofford said. "A quarter of adults consider themselves to be under high or severe stress. If you don't deal with some of the root causes around stress, you can't really move the needle on nutrition or sleep."
Aetna also just finished a more streamlined redesign of CarePass's developer backend, a move designed to make it easier for more health and wellness partners to join the ecosystem.
Wofford acknowledged that other payors, like Kaiser Permanente's Interchange API and Cigna's GoYou Marketplace, were now playing in a similar space to CarePass, but expressed a "rising tide rises all boats" mentality.
"I think it's ok if there are people going after the same goal," she said. "I don't think of it as a traditional competitive space, even though they're traditional competitors. I think there's many of them that we're happy to work with and just think about how do we make it easier for consumers."