WellPoint looks outside company for help developing apps


WellPoint is no good at developing its own mobile applications, so it's going to let the experts handle the job from now on, says a WellPoint executive.

Rickey Tang, vice president, chief architect and chief technology officer at WellPoint, admitted this fact Monday during the CITE Conference on consumer technologies in the workplace. He said WellPoint is good at crunching data, but not app design and usability, reported the Wall Street Journal.

Indeed, WellPoint's first app, which was released last December, received widespread negative reviews from users on both its Apple and Android platforms. Some reviewers called the app "worthless," "horrible" and "total garbage," while others said it didn't work at all. One common criticism was that the app didn't allow users to see their claims,

That's why the second-largest insurer is turning to more experienced companies for help improving its apps' usability features. To build a successful mobile app program, WellPoint is creating application programming interfaces so other companies can create apps allowing, for example, customers to access their medical information with certain health monitoring or nutritional applications.

Tang said that by establishing an open and standard business relationship with its app partners, WellPoint plans to build an ecosystem of apps that its members will find useful, the WSJ noted.

But he clarified that WellPoint will retain control of all data security to make certain that its members' private information is never breached. Security measures are particularly important to safeguard private health information given how unaware most consumers are of the information contained within their mobile devices, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

To learn more:
- read the Wall Street Journal article

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