Qualcomm has expanded the UnitedHealthcare Motion wellness program that gives employees activity trackers for free. It is available for self-funded employers who have 5 or more employees and companies that have full health insurance plans with 101 or more employees.
The UnitedHealthcare Motion “brings together wearable technology, telemedicine and wellness incentives to help employees take charge of their health, while also enabling employers to more effectively manage health care costs,” according to its website.
Employees who wear the device can earn up to $4 a day in deductible credits if they reach fitness goals. The company uses the acronym FIT, for short, to represent the frequency of walking goals, intensity and tenacity.
To be eligible for the deductible credits, participants have to walk 300 steps within 5 minutes and at least 6 times a day, with an hour between each walking cycle. That is the frequency in FIT. The intensity of FIT means walking 3,000 steps in 30 minutes and tenacity means reaching the 10,000 total steps daily goal.
Employers are eligible to receive premium savings based on the participants of the program and their FIT results. Those who reach FIT goals are more likely to improve their health and have less medical expenses.
Companies and employers in the U.S. are expected to integrate more than 13 million wearable fitness devices for wellness programs by 2018, according to Endeavors Partners. About 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 18 currently owns an activity tracker and about half of those who own one don’t use it.
UnitedHealthcare and Qualcomm released the UnitedHealthcare Motion program in 2016 in 12 states to test the program under Qualcomm’s 2net Platform, which provides medical-grade connections that keep data safe. The success of the test allowed the program to expand to 40 states. It now includes the ability to access customized activity trackers with a “bring-your-own-device” (BYOD) model. The wearable device Fitbit Charge 2 will be one of the new activity trackers as part of the BYOD initiative.
“The growth of UnitedHealthcare Motion showcases the value of providing companies and their employees with personalized, connected health and wellness resources,” said Dr. Richard Migliori, chief medical officer of UnitedHealth Group. “Wearable technology can help encourage employees to walk each day and earn financial rewards at the same time, using secure technology that we believe is intuitive and convenient.”
QualComm Life is going to provide secure data transfers from the fitness devices to the Motion app and UnitedHealthcare. Participants will wear activity trackers that are customized for users to see how they are reaching their three FIT goals.
The UnitedHealthcare Motion was introduced at the annual technology convention, CES 2017.
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