Aetna buys popular mobile app iTriage maker for ACO
Aetna has acquired Healthagen, the company that developed mobile app iTriage, which provides information about medical issues and finds nearby providers or health facilities.
"We're going to begin to change the healthcare industry by giving people tools they can put in the palm of their hand," Aetna Chief Executive Mark Bertolini said during a recent investor conference, according to TechCrunch.
Available on both Apple and Android mobile platforms, iTriage has become the fastest growing health-related consumer application, as it has been downloaded 3.5 million times. Users accessed it 1 million times in October and 2 million times in November, reports the Denver Business Journal.
iTriage will become a central feature of Aetna's accountable care organization (ACO). "iTriage is our patient engagement side of this [ACO offering]," said Charles Saunders, Aetna's head of strategic diversification. He added that consumers must be engaged to properly understand and navigate the healthcare system, as well as prevent leakage outside of the ACO network, reports Mobile Health News.
Aetna also plans to enhance iTriage with new features. "We are layering on additional tools and capabilities so that [iTriage users] can get an accurate estimate of what the costs will be," Saunders said. "So that they can make an intelligent choice based on who is in-network or which is the lowest-cost, highest-quality option. And then to be able to directly register or book an appointment with that provider and do that in a disruptive way."
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