What Potential Partners Should Know about Aetna

Vice President of Aetna Consumer Platform Martha Wofford chats with Health 2.0 about Aetna’s upcoming participation in Matchpoint Boston, Health 2.0′s preeminent deal-making and partnership forum. A leading health care benefits company, Aetna will be meeting with innovating companies for potential pilots and partnerships. 

Why are you participating in Matchpoint?

Matchpoint is the ideal opportunity to introduce Aetna’s new CarePass technology to the top health and wellness innovators in the mobile application space.

CarePass Sync has been designed to give all consumers a secure personal health cloud that follows them from app to app, automatically syncing their activities, and personalizing their journey. The key to our approach is that it seamlessly works within the user’s existing lifestyle. We do not require users to go to special sites or manually enter information. Our service allows consumers to interact with the apps of their choosing within CarePass. We simply connect their experiences and automatically record their activities as they permit.

Together with our partners, we hope to make the healthcare journey a little simpler and more connected for everyone.

What may potential partners not know about Aetna that they should know?

Aetna has been evolving into a health solutions company – with a significant emphasis on using technology to create a healthcare system that is more connected, convenient and cost-effective. Our Chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini is passionate about simplifying the healthcare system for all consumers by making each interaction more convenient.

And, we have an ever-growing set of tools to achieve this for everyone, not just the 36.1 million people we serve. The iTriage app, the Medicity health information exchange technologies and iNexx provider platform, and now CarePass are examples of how we are continuing to bring together technologies to simplify the healthcare system and help people live healthier lives.

What suggestions for improvement do you have for startups looking for partnerships with companies like Aetna?

At Aetna, we are always looking for new ideas and new capabilities and increasingly we see startups as a pipeline for R&D. We are paying closer attention than ever before to this community, and keeping a close eye on new innovations.

We are excited by the ideas that you have to offer, and we want to hear about them. However, we often ask ourselves after a discussion, “do they have a real product, or simply an idea?” So, our first suggestion would be to increase transparency from the beginning. If you have a product, let’s see it. If you have an idea, let’s hear about it. But be clear on what we’re discussing.

The second suggestion would be to think through your business model. How does your solution add value? How will it grow and evolve into a sustainable business model?

Finally, stay creative and flexible– it’s what we admire most about the startup community. Your flexibility and creativity are excellent complements to our strengths, which include the ability to truly refine a product with our tools and processes. Your strengths can evolve an idea into a product quickly. Our strengths can assist you in bringing that product to market or scaling it.

What type of technology would complement/expand Aetna’s portfolio?

We are seeking partners that have innovative, best of breed mobile apps in a broad range of health-related categories, including fitness, nutrition, pharmacy, medical health, and social/community health spaces.

Our goal is to simplify and connect the consumer’s healthcare journey, so we need to offer solutions at all points of interaction with one’s health. We are focused on mobile because it enables us to reach consumers “on the go” and at the “point of action.” Traditionally, Aetna has focused on enterprise-grade software development and highly-secure platforms.

At the same time, the start-up community has been racing forward with the development of consumer apps. The marrying of our strengths enables consumers to enjoy the mobile experience that they are seeking, while ensuring the security that they need.

What are some of the ways Aetna has innovated over the past year and what role will Matchpoint play in your overall strategy?

Aetna is dedicated to simplifying consumer interactions with the complex healthcare system. Launched earlier this year, iTriage and CarePass are the latest examples of Aetna bringing no/low-cost solutions to all consumers, not just our members. Matchpoint will provide Aetna with the opportunity to meet a new set of innovators that will increase the reach of CarePass and, in the process, offer a new and more convenient experience to consumers.