Mark Bertolini, CEO of AETNA, Talks mHealth During Health 2.0 Presentation

Mr. Bertolini was introduced as a man who intimately understands challenges in health and healthcare.  Mark’s son was diagnosed with cancer in the past few years, and recently he gave his son one of his kidneys for his survival.  The audience clapped when we were told that his son is doing well and has since recovered.

Mark explained to us all that the world is evolving, and behavioral changes need to happen in this country. He went on to expound, “imagine a healthcare system that is connected and convenient, and that works around the members’ lives instead of members working around the healthcare system.”

I sat there thinking about how the healthcare system has been so disjointed for so long, where it’s withheld necessary information, and so much of that information is siloed and not shared.  Yes, Mark, I can only imagine.  And that’s why we have events like Health 2.0 and mHIMSS where we can come together to help solve these problems. Where we can make patient/member communication more effective and actionable. Where IT and human touch meet.

Mark went on to say, (paraphrased) “imagine on a smartphone being able to find a doctor, make an appointment, evaluate that appointment, and then get the test results from that appointment.”  This was a case AETNA helped solved through acquiring iTriage.  According to Mr. Bertolini, 34% of AETNA members have some type of chronic disease, and they drive 67% of healthcare costs at AETNA.

Mark explained that the way to change a patient’s behavior is not by scaring them but by enabling them to have access to tools and communication that can assist them in changing their behaviors.  To that end, AETNA has partnered with GoodRx (to find the lowest cost for medications you’re taking), MapMyFitness (for awards and goals for exercise and eating properly), and iTriage to become part of the solution.

He wrapped up his presentation with awards that AETNA gave out for an App contest they conducted  this year, with the mandate being that App Developers encourage medication adherence.  He awarded then awarded checks for $100K and $75K respectively to Flor’nce by mhealthCoach and PillJoggerLite by PillJogger.

Good luck Mark, and may health continue for you and yours!

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