Aetna buys mHealth app–and sees promise (US/UK)

US health insurers haven’t exactly been leading the way in eHealth, beyond mobile versions of their websites and select apps, with the notable exception of some of UnitedHealth Group/OptumHealth telemedicine initiatives. Here may be a change–not telehealth monitoring but patient engagement. Last week giant Aetna announced on an investors’ call the acquisition of Healthagen, the Denver-based creator of the iTriage smartphone mobile app which enables an individual to check symptoms, research diseases and find a doctor or clinic. The acquisition actually took place in September. Purchase price not disclosed, nor whether Aetna will turn iTriage into a proprietary app. Health 2.0 News.

According to FierceMobileHealthcare:

Aetna’s president Mark Bertolini disclosed the month-and-a-half-old deal at the insurer’s annual investor conference late last week, according to TechCrunch.

“About a month and a half ago we bought a little company called iTriage…the fastest growing consumer application in healthcare today,” Bertolini said. “We’re going to begin to change the healthcare industry by giving people tools they can put in the palm of their hand.” It will feature as a strong patient engagement function for the company’s emerging accountable care organization, as well.