Anthem, Inc., Samsung and American Well collaborate to deliver telehealth services
Anthem, Inc., Samsung Electronics America, Inc (SEA), and American Well have announced that consumers with an Anthem affiliated health plan and an updated Samsung Health app can now access LiveHealth Online within Samsung Health.
With over 74mn people served by its affiliated companies, including nearly 40mn within its family of health plans, Anthem is one of the nation’s leading health benefits companies, where its LiveHealth Online subsidiary is the trade name of Health Management Corporation.
The “Experts” service in Samsung Health will be able to connect consumers with US based, board-certified health care providers for a wide variety of non-emergency medical care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Anthem’s partnership with Samsung and American Well is one way we are investing in innovation and digital capabilities that will advance access to healthcare for consumers across the country,” said Peter D. Haytaian, Executive Vice President and President, Commercial and Specialty Business Division, Anthem.
“At Anthem, we are leveraging the power of technology, challenging the status quo and collaborating with leaders across industries, to create a simpler, more affordable, and accessible healthcare system. The healthcare needs of consumers are incredibly dynamic, and technology will continue to be the gateway to enable consumers’ broader choice of care to improve their health and wellbeing.”
LiveHealth Online, which is powered by leading telehealth platform American Well, connects the nation’s largest hospitals, insurers, employers and more, covering over 145mn US citizens.
The subsidiary works to give consumers the ability to “Ask an Expert,” and consult a care provider through video chat. These board-certified health care providers can address non-emergency medical needs such as colds, coughs, flu and allergies.
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During the visit, care providers can provide a diagnosis and submit a prescription. Through the Samsung Health service, consumers can even consult with health experts in a number of different subspecialties, including nutrition and dermatology.
With this latest update, consumers will also have access to additional services offered exclusively on the Samsung Health app—such as fitness training, maternity advice, sleep tracking, and other health-related offerings.
“Our goal with Samsung Health’s ‘Experts’ service is to provide users with ubiquitous access to leading healthcare providers and insurers quickly and cost effectively, right from the palm of their hands,” commented Nana Murugesan, Vice President & General Manager, Services & New Business at Samsung Electronics America.
“When we launched Experts just one year ago, our users were mostly using the service for everyday illnesses like colds and coughs. Now our users are increasingly using the service for more advanced telehealth treatments such as the flu, high blood pressure and insomnia, as we expand our relationships with leaders in the healthcare industry.
“We are pleased to work with Anthem and welcome the LiveHealth Online service into the fold with American Well for Samsung Health.”
Consumers can access LiveHealth Online by opening the Samsung Health service on their Galaxy device and selecting the “Experts” tab to connect with a care provider. They will be asked to enroll in SamsungHealth’s “Ask An Expert” feature with their Samsung account and then prompted to select their health plan to view coverage for the services they receive, if applicable.
“The new offering connects a world class consumer engagement platform with an incredibly thoughtful, trusted and comprehensive clinical service,” added Ido Schoenberg, MD, Chairman and CEO at American Well.
“It is designed to create a streamlined patient experience without compromising on care quality, choice, affordability and convenience. We are delighted to support Anthem and Samsung in their groundbreaking effort to remove the remaining barriers to the ubiquitous utilisation of digital care services.”
Getting ready for cloud data-driven healthcare
As healthcare continues to recognise the value of data and digital transformation, many organisations are relying on the cloud to make their future-forward and data-centric thinking a reality. In fact, the global healthcare cloud computing market was valued at approximately $18 billion and is expected to generate around $61 billion USD by 2025.
At the forefront of these changes is the rapid adoption of cloud-based, or software-as-a-service (SaaS), applications. These apps can be used to handle patient interactions, track prescriptions, care, billing and more, and the insights derived from this important data can vastly improve operations, procurement and courses of treatment. However, before healthcare organisations can begin to dream about a true data-driven future, they have to deal with a data-driven dilemma: compliance.
Meeting regulation requirements
It’s no secret that healthcare is a highly regulated industry when it comes to data and privacy – and rightfully so. Patient records contain extremely sensitive data that, if changed or erased, could cost someone their life. This is why healthcare systems rely on legacy technologies, like Cerner and Epic EHRs, to manage patient information – the industry knows the vendors put an emphasis on making them as secure as possible.
Yet when SaaS applications are introduced and data starts being moved into them, compliance gets complicated. For example, every time a new application is introduced into an organisation, that organisation must have the vendor complete a BAA (Business Associate Agreement). This agreement essentially puts the responsibility for the safety of patients’ information — maintaining appropriate safeguards and complying with regulations — on the vendor.
However, even with these agreements in place, healthcare systems still are at risk of failing to meet compliance requirements. To comply with HIPAA, U.S. Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 11 and other regulations that stipulate the need to exercise best practices to keep electronic patient data safe, healthcare organisations must maintain comprehensive audit trails – something that gets increasingly difficult when data sits in an application that resides in the vendor’s infrastructure.
Additionally, data often does not stay in the applications – instead healthcare users download, save and copy it into other business intelligence tools, creating data sprawl across the organisation and exposing patient privacy to greater risk.
With so many of these tools that are meant to spur growth and more effective care creating compliance challenges, it begs the question: how can healthcare organisations take advantage of the data they have without risking non-compliance?
Yes, healthcare organisations can adhere to regulations while also getting valuable insights from the wealth of data they have available. However, to help do this, organisations must own their data. This means data must be backed up and stored in an environment that they have control over, rather than in the SaaS vendors’ applications.
Backing up historical SaaS application data directly from an app into an organisation’s own secure cloud infrastructure, such as AWS or Microsoft Azure, makes it easier, and less costly, to maintain a digital chain of custody – or a trail of the different touchpoints of data. This not only increases the visibility and auditability of that data, but organisations can then set appropriate controls around who can access the data.
Likewise, having data from these apps located in one central, easily accessible location can decrease the number of copies floating around an organisation, reducing the surface area of exposure while also making it easier for organisations to securely pull data into business intelligence tools.
When healthcare providers have unfettered access to all their historical data, the possibilities for growth and insights are endless. For example, having ownership and ready access to authorised data can help organisations further implement and support outcome-based care. Insights enabled by this data will help inform diagnoses, prescriptions, treatment plans and more, which benefits not only the patient, but the healthcare ecosystem as a whole.
To keep optimising and improving care, healthcare systems must take advantage of new tools like SaaS applications. By backing up and owning their historical SaaS application data, they can do so while minimising the risk to patient privacy or compliance requirements. Having this ownership and access can propel healthcare organisations to be more data-driven – creating better outcomes for everyone.