This morning insurance giant Anthem announced its plans to team up with K Health, a consumer-focused digital health company, in order to develop a new app that seeks to help patients get personalized information and connect to doctors.
The partners are now creating a cobranded app tool that will allow Anthem members to chat with a doctor for “less than a copay.” Additionally, members will now have access to K Health's existing tool, which gives users insights into how doctors have diagnosed patients with similar symptoms in the past.
While the amount is not specified, according to material provided by K Health, Anthem is also making an investment of "tens of millions of dollars” to the startup in order to help with the development of this tool.
WHY IT MATTERS
Increasingly, payers are looking for alternative ways to facilitate care. In a similar vein, telehealth company Doctor on Demand and Humana jointly launched a new virtual care model that would allow plan members to access in-network primary care doctors with no copay.
Anthem and K Health said this new announcement will keep cost down for patients and improve access to care.
THE LARGER TREND
Anthem is no stranger to the digital space. In fact, in 2017 the insurer tapped into its ongoing partnership with Castlight Health to launch Engage, a foundational digital platform for the payer’s digital operations.
Anthem has also offered virtual visits in the past. In 2018 the company announced that Anthem plan members who own a Samsung Galaxy device are now able to use American Well’s LiveHealth Online telehealth service through the Samsung Health app.
K Health launched about a year ago and it reports to have raised over $50 million dollars to date. In December the company closed their Series B round and announced the launch of a new virtual visit capability supported by the new funds.
ON THE RECORD
“K Health was created to address growing gaps in the primary care landscape, including the lack of access to personalized medical information, long wait times to see doctors, misinformation on the internet and more,” Allon Bloch, CEO and cofounder of K Health, said in an email to MobiHealthNews. “Our partnership with Anthem brings free personalized healthcare to the fingertips of 40M+ people, and over the long term has broad implications to increase healthcare access, improve care, and reduce costs for millions of Americans.”