Aetna International tech chief talks strategy

Rick Jeandell: Being a "self-confessed tech-head" helps improve user experience

Aetna has placed technology at the center of its efforts to offer customers, partners and employees information anytime, anywhere, on any device, according to Rick Jeandell, chief technology officer of Aetna International.

"IT departments, indeed entire organizations, now see technology not as a set of tools but as opportunities to connect with their customers," he wrote for Insurance & Technology.


A technology strategy must go beyond websites and call centers, Jeandell noted. So Aetna has invested in health management and health IT solutions, including the purchase of Healthagen, the maker of the popular mobile app iTriage, which provides information about medical issues and finds nearby providers or health facilities.

The company also created its CarePass platform, which offers access to health and wellness mobile apps. CarePass now includes tools that track medication adherence, given half of people on a medication for a chronic condition stop taking that drug within a year and cost the system about $290 billion annually, Martha Wofford, vice president of Aetna and head of CarePass, told FierceHealthPayer in a recent interview.

Aetna foresees a strong return on investment, expecting mobile apps to generate $1.5 billion in revenues this year.


The insurer's tech strategy must keep up with customer expectations, evolving processes and mindsets in a new generation of technology. "Being a self-confessed tech-head really helps: I have the same expectations as our customers. I am immersed in the user experience of our products and services," Jeandell wrote.

The chief technology officer also looks inside the organization, aggregating information from people and businesses that are developing applications and devices for customers.

The consumerization of technology, coupled with the mobilization of the workforce and the rapid rise of social media, presents challenges for IT leaders. To adapt to a mobile-enabled, connected, social world, Humana, for example, offers tools that provide secure, work-based access into its network, so employees can use email, social media and virtual desktops across various locations, Humana CIO Brian LeClaire told FieceHealthPayer in a previous interview.

For more:
- read the Insurance Technology article

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