PORTLAND, Ore., Aug. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Only 13 percent of consumers currently use their smartphone to manage their health insurance, though 36 percent have downloaded an app from their health plan, according to a new study from HealthSparq.
As part of its mission to put people first in health care, HealthSparq commissioned the study from Hanover Research to understand why health plan app utilization is low, and uncover the features and functionality people actually want on their mobile devices to manage their health care. The survey looked at the mobile app behaviors and preferences of 813 adults, all of whom owned a smartphone and were insured by a commercial health plan.
According to the research, convenience was the number one reason for downloading a health plan's app. People use those apps to perform tasks such as paying premiums (59 percent) and looking up covered services (45 percent). However, consumers want to do more using their mobile devices, including finding the cost of medical services and procedures.
"We can use our phones to manage pretty much any aspect of our lives," said HealthSparq's Chief Marketing Officer, Burt Rosen. "For our health, we can measure the steps we take, our heart rates and our activities, but we have trouble tracking our actual health care. There's a huge opportunity for health plans to better help people manage their care in a way that fits with our smartphone-driven culture."
HealthSparq provides technology to health plans that allows their members to view cost and quality information for medical providers and services wherever they are. Plans can also utilize HealthSparq's API technology to augment their own native or hybrid mobile apps with personalized, benefits-specific information on treatments and out-of-pocket costs.
"We took the time to talk to real people so we can bring smarter apps and mobile capabilities to our health plan partners and ensure we are being as relevant and in-the-moment as possible for their members," said Rosen. "We see a number of ways plans can innovate -- like applying more advanced cost and quality tools, interactive benefit data and bot-assisted guidance – to give consumers a great mobile experience. It's also fascinating to see how people use their phones and desktops differently to manage their care."
The survey also looked at mobile app download drivers, user preferences and mobile vs. desktop activities. For those people who use both mobile and desktop to manage their health, they use mobile to accomplish quicker tasks (paying premiums and looking up covered services) and desktops to accomplish more time-consuming and/or complex tasks (reviewing claims).
To download the associated white paper, "How to Build a More Powerful Mobile Experience," visit healthsparq.com.
About HealthSparq At HealthSparq, we help people make smarter health care choices by partnering with health plans to provide members with cost and quality information about doctors, hospitals and medical services, based on their individual benefits. We put people at the core of everything we do by conducting continuous usability testing, eliciting consumer feedback to enhance product development, hosting industry panels featuring everyday people, and bringing human stories to the forefront through our #WhatTheHealthCare campaign. Using these insights, we create solutions to help people understand and navigate the health care system better than ever before.
Growing since our founding in 2008 from our home in Portland, Oregon, we now serve more than 70 health plans and their 74 million members nationwide. Interested in helping us kick the hell out of health care? Contact us at HealthSparq.com or tweet us @HealthSparq.
About Hanover Research: Founded in 2003, Hanover Research is a global research and analytics firm that delivers market intelligence through a unique, fixed-fee model to more than 1,000 clients. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, Hanover employs high-caliber market researchers, analysts, and account executives to provide a service that is revolutionary in its combination of flexibility and affordability. Hanover was named a Top 50 Market Research Firm by the American Marketing Association in 2015, 2016, and 2017, and has also been twice named a Washington Business Journal Fastest Growing Company. To learn more about Hanover Research, visit hanoverresearch.com.