LIVE FROM mHEALTH SUMMIT, WASHINGTON DC: Keynote speaker Paul Bertolini, the president and CEO of health insurer Aetna, highlighted the estimated US$750 billion of waste annually in US healthcare, and the contribution that mobile technology can make to cutting that huge figure.
“If we solve the problem of waste, we could solve half of the nation’s debt over the next decade, “ said Bertolini, giving an idea of how significant healthcare costs are to the wider US economy.
Bertolini also announced that Aetna’s Carepass service, which shares data between the company’s various health apps, will be available for the first time on mobile devices by March 2013 (it works on PC and laptop today).
The service connects health apps from various areas such as identity, insurance, doctor visits, fitness and nutrition with the aim of offering a more co-ordinated approach to healthcare by enabling physicians to pull up patient data from multiple sources.
“We can’t get at that US$750 billion of wastage if we don’t get at this,” he said.
Aetna first added its iTriage app, which lets patients check their symptoms, find doctors and make appointments, to the Carepass system earlier this year. Then in October, it added a further 20 of its apps.
Bertolini also announced the release in two weeks of Passage, a new app developed with Microsoft, which is designed to make exercise more attractive to patients with chronic diseases. It works with both PC and phone.