The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is joining forces with Garmin to integrate the Swiss company’s digital health devices and sensors into its Blue365 health and wellness program.
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is adding a new mHealth platform to its health and wellness program, giving health plans and members an opportunity to track health and fitness data through wearables.
The Chicago based organization, a collection of 36 payers and related companies, is partnering with Garmin to add the Switzerland-based company’s digital health offerings to its Blue365 program.
“Our goal is to encourage Americans to take a proactive role in maintaining and improving their health, and that can start with fitness,” Mark Talluto, the association’s vice president of strategy and analytics, said in a press release. “By adding Garmin’s wearables to Blue365’s health and wellness offerings, we can provide Blue Cross and Blue Shield members another way to help achieve their goals through a deeper understanding of their health and fitness information.”
The partnership is the latest in a series of deals forged by payers for connected health services offered through the likes of Garmin, Fitbit, Microsoft, Google, Withings and Apple, all of which are positioning themselves to capture biometrics and other social and environmental data for remote monitoring programs. Those programs may include chronic care management, population health, rehabilitation, post-hospital discharge and wellness services.
Last October, Garmin announced a partnership with San Diego-based Fitabase to integrate its wearables into the latter’s digital health platform for clinical research, putting the company in line with Fitbit (also a Fitabase partner) and Apple to compete for connected health programs.
“Much of today’s research is based on episodic health data or patient memories,” Travis Johnson, Garmin Heath’s global product lead, said in a press release. “The objective is that continuous data from Garmin wearables provides researchers a comprehensive window into activity, heart rate, sleep, and even pulse ox data that may help to better understand the relationship between lifestyle behaviors and health outcomes.”
The company has been working with Medtronic to combine its vivofit series activity trackers with the Medtronic Care Management Services RPM platform through the Garmin health software development kit. And roughly a year ago, the University of Kansas Medical Center launched a program to study how Garmin’s mHealth wearables could be used in mobile health programs.
With the BCBS partnership, Garmin’s mHealth products will be made available to members of the 24 health plans participating in Blue365, as well as the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Government-wide Service Benefit Plan, also known as the Federal Employee Program.
Date: June 03, 2019