PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 2, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Independence Blue Cross (IBC) today announces the launch of the WebMD Digital Health Assistant (DHA), a virtual wellness coaching program that helps its members maintain and improve their health through positive lifestyle choices and healthy behavior change. Members can view this new free capability, through "My Health Assistant" on ibxpress.com, the company's member website.
"We are excited to leverage our partnership with WebMD by offering a simple and fun tool like My Health Assistant that can have a positive, lasting impact on members' health," said Brian Lobley, IBC senior vice president, marketing and consumer business. "The health of our members is at the center of everything we do. The changes and enhancements we are making to ibxpress.com will empower members to engage in a new level of personal action and accountability for their health."
The new My Health Assistant on ibxpress.com replaces the WebMD Lifestyle Improvement Programs. After members complete their Personal Health Profile (PHP), an online health risk assessment, My Health Assistant, helps them choose areas of focus according to identified health risks, such as losing weight, increasing physical activity, or quitting smoking. The program empowers members by giving them the ability to set personalized goals, select an intensity level, and track their progress along the way.
In addition, the virtual coaching tool integrates other relevant content from WebMD, including articles, videos, personalized reading lists, and mini-courses to identify health risks and the actions members can take to help lower them. My Health Assistant also creates a true interactive experience similar to a personal health coach by suggesting relevant activities and providing words of encouragement.
As part of the new enhancements to IBC's online wellness program, the WebMD homepage on ibxpress.com has been redesigned to include daily action steps. These steps are customized based on members' activity with My Health Assistant and with data from their PHP and Personal Health Record. The Personal Health Record is an online tool that stores, manages, and maintains a member's health information, including health care visits, insurance coverage, and medications. These items will appear each time members visit this page and reinforce the importance of taking small steps every day to achieve health goals.
In the future, IBC will integrate My Health Assistant into the free IBX Mobile application so that members can use a smartphone to view their weekly activity plan, check their progress, and report completed activities while they are on the go.
Since 2009, WebMD, one of the most trusted and recognized online health information sources among consumers, has been working with IBC to provide a variety of electronic health tools that encourage members to assume an active role in their health. These tools include WebMD's symptom checker, which helps a member assess their symptoms and the WebMD Medical Encyclopedia, which explains medical terms in a consumer-friendly manner.
About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we have 3.1 million members nationwide. For nearly 75 years, we have been enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more about how we're changing the game, visit www.ibx.com. Connect with us on Facebook at ibx.com/facebook and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.