PHILADELPHIA– Independence Health Group, the parent company of Independence Blue Cross, is partnering with telecommunications giant Comcast to create a health technology platform aimed at improving the patient-provider experience.
“We want to help patients better connect to their doctors, get quick content on their health conditions and, above all, make it personal for each person,” said Brian Lobley, president of commercial and consumer markets at Independence Health Group which, together with its subsidiaries, serves nearly 8.5 million people in 24 states and the District of Columbia, including 2.5 million in southeastern Pennsylvania. Independence Health Group and Independence Blue Cross are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
The new Internet-based platform will provide patients with access to content and information related to their particular health care journey, wherever they are.
“Comcast’s unique experience in technology and content can be an enabler for disruptive, personalized and media-rich innovations in health care,” said Sam Schwartz, chief business development officer at Comcast, in a statement.
Comcast, one of the founding members of The Health Care Innovation Collaborative in Philadelphia, has been increasingly stepping into the health care industry, most recently through a collaboration with the University of California, Davis, on a video series for healthy aging.
“It made sense for us to partner with an innovative media and technology giant and leverage their assets and expertise in content creation,” Lobley said.
Lobley said the partnership between the health care insurer and media tech giant to form a new company is unique, but a sign of things to come.
“We’re at the beginning right now looking to see how we can impact someone’s health care journey in a positive way—whether that is a specific treatment or a condition that needs to be managed,” he said. “We think that true health care transformation will require a multi-directional approach that simultaneously tackles the high cost of care and the complexity of the system, while helping to make it less confusing for people. Where the partnership goes has lots of possibilities.”