UnitedHealthcare, Qualcomm Integrate Wearables with Motion Wellness Program

The Fitbit Charge 2 is the newest activity tracker integrated and validated with Qualcomm’s 2net platform and UnitedHealthcare Motion within a bring-your-own-device model.

(Fitbit Charge 2 is the newest device integrated and validated with Qualcomm’s 2net platform. Source: Fitbit.)

UnitedHealthcare (Hopkins, Minn.) and Qualcomm Incorporated (San Diego), through its wholly owned subsidiary Qualcomm Life, Inc., announced today at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 that they had added enhancements and expanded UnitedHealthcare Motion, a wellness program that provides employees with wearable activity tracker devices at no additional charge and enables them to earn up to $1,500 per year by meeting certain goals for the number of daily steps.

Richard Migliori, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, UnitedHealth Group.

Richard Migliori, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, UnitedHealth Group.

The two companies introduced UnitedHealthcare Motion in 2016 as a pilot in 12 states to select employers, using Qualcomm Life’s 2net Platform for what the companies characterize as medical-grade connectivity featuring multiple safeguards to help keep data secure. Following the successful test, the companies expanded the program to 40 states and will now include access to additional customized activity trackers through a ‘bring-your-own-device’ (BYOD) model. The program is now available to self-funded employers with five or more eligible employees, and companies with fully insured health plans with 101 or more eligible employees.

Qualcomm Life reports that it will use its global connected health ecosystem and connectivity expertise to provide secure data transfer from the devices, to the Motion app and to UnitedHealthcare. Qualcomm Life will also enable the BYOD model to allow the integration of more activity trackers into the 2net Platform and UnitedHealthcare Motion, providing participants with more choice. Integrated activity trackers will be customized to enable users to see on their wrists how they are tracking against the program’s three daily F.I.T. goals.

James Park, CEO and Chairman, Fitbit.

James Park, CEO and Chairman, Fitbit.

“The growth of UnitedHealthcare Motion showcases the value of providing companies and their employees with personalized, connected health and wellness resources,” comments Richard Migliori, M.D., chief medical officer, UnitedHealth Group. “Wearable technology can help encourage employees to walk each day and earn financial rewards at the same time, using secure technology that we believe is intuitive and convenient.”

Fitbit Charge 2 Integrated with 2net

The Fitbit Charge 2 is the newest activity tracker integrated and validated with 2net and UnitedHealthcare Motion within the BYOD model, according to UnitedHealthcare and Qualcomm. The custom feature can be activated during early 2017 on any Charge 2 device in market by any eligible program participant, the companies say.

“As the global wearables leader, we have taken another big digital-health step forward by collaborating with UnitedHealthcare and Qualcomm Life to enable people to fulfill their fitness goals and be rewarded for living a healthier lifestyle,” comments James Park, co-founder and CEO, Fitbit. “Our team custom-designed this feature to help give UnitedHealthcare Motion program participants activity insights right on their wrists, as part of our commitment to make our products integral tools to evidence-based consumer health programs.”

James Mault, VP, Chief Medical Officer, Qualcomm Life.

James Mault, VP, Chief Medical Officer, Qualcomm Life.

The Power of Wellness Programs

Employers are expected to incorporate more than 13 million wearable and fitness tracking devices into their wellness programs by 2018, according to technology consultancy Endeavors Partners. A related study published in Science & Medicine showed people tend to overestimate how much exercise they get each week by more than 50 minutes, and they underestimate sedentary time by more than two hours, which UnitedHealthcare and Qualcomm suggest emphasizes the importance of a wellness programs.

“By combining UnitedHealthcare’s leadership and pioneering pro-consumer benefit designs with Qualcomm Life’s unique ability to provide effortless connectivity across an expansive ecosystem of wearables, UnitedHealthcare Motion will continue to help engage people throughout the country with the goal of enhancing their well-being,” comment James Mault, VP, chief medical officer of Qualcomm Life.

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at AnthODonnell@IIReporter.com or (503) 936-2803.

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