Insurers pay patients to take their meds

Categories: technology, social
Tags:
health, behavioural

What? In May 2016, a U.S. company developing a mobile app that encourages medication and treatment adherence by paying patients received a $2 million financial boost from AXA Strategic Ventures, the venture arm of the multinational insurance company AXA. The app, developed by Brooklyn-based digital health company Wellth, is licensed to medical insurers. To get cash rewards, patients verify treatment adherence with pictures and data. Patients who adhere to their care plans can cash out their rewards at given intervals, tapping into what the company has found is patients' strong loss aversion.

So what? Wellth's app is part of a trend of digital apps that use small economic incentives to try and improve patient health and well-being. For example, Pact is a mobile app that enables individuals to financially bet against others in their adherence to exercising. In Wellth's case, the investment by U.S. insurance companies suggests that they view paying patients to adhere to treatment regimes as a plausible way to reduce medical insurers' overall costs. The cost of treating chronic diseases, exacerbated by medication and treatment non-compliance, is the primary cost for both public and private healthcare systems. If shown to be successful, this behavioural economics approach may be much more widely adapted.

Source: Mobi Health News- Wellth raises $2M to pay patients, health plan members to make healthier choices

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