Health Care App Doesn't Make Waves

February 15, 2018

A health care app that offered functions such as a symptom checker, options for care, and a map of facilities that were covered by the user’s insurance was offered to IBM employees in Raleigh-Durham in 2016. It seemed an easy way to put more power in the hands of patients, which could benefit the employers and the insurers.

Did it work?

“The short answer is nobody really used the tool,” associate professor of health care policy Ateev Mehrotra, MD, told the Washington Post. Today, the app is out of commission.

Mehrotra, who worked with Anthem and GenieMD to develop the app, thinks that most users only need such a tool rarely and simply forgot to use the tool.

The digitization of health care provides new opportunities to help patients navigate the complicated health care system, but it will take some time to identify tools that patients will find helpful. Mehrotra’s suggestions are to possibly link this technology with interfaces consumers use every day, such as Google or Amazon.