Partnership between Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Virgin Pulse shows the health benefits of wellness technology platforms

(1.10.2018)
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PROVIDENCE, RI – Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) finds Rhode Islanders are increasingly adopting the use of workplace wellness technology. In fact, a mobile wellness platform, like the one BCBSRI offers through a partnership with Virgin Pulse, a global leader in wellbeing and engagement technology solutions, can lead to better health for users. This is especially so, as Virgin Pulse users have been found to engage with their wellness app at a frequency of 1,440 habit-building interactions per member per year – a rate eight times higher than other wellbeing programs.

“This dynamic yet incredibly accessible technology allows Rhode Islanders to take greater control of their health, and ultimately, their wellbeing through a platform that is simple and easy to use,” said Melissa Cummings, BCBSRI senior vice president and chief customer officer. “It’s gratifying to see such strong results around engagement and to know that by using this technology our members are on the road to better health.”

Through the Virgin Pulse mobile app and personalized web platform, members become more engaged in their own wellness while interacting with friends, family and coworkers in online challenges such as comparing weekend step totals, eating plant-based meals for a week or taking time to unwind each evening. Members can sync wearable devices, such as a Fitbit or an Apple Watch, with their wellness accounts to track their health status.

Results from the first six months of BCBSRI’s partnership with Virgin Pulse show 71 percent of registered wellness members completed BCBSRI’s health risk assessment (HRA), an important screening tool to evaluate a person’s health. Accessible through the BCBSRI mobile app, HRAs provide members with a snapshot of their own health through a questionnaire that directly correlates to specific health measures, such as exercise frequency and seatbelt usage.

Results also show that since launching the wellness platform in January 2017, 50 percent of Virgin Pulse users have engaged with the application weekly. The most engaged group within the Virgin Pulse platform is 50 to 59 year olds, who use the app to track steps, sleep habits and workouts, as well as numerous other functions. Many users are improving their health while earning rewards offered for participating in healthy activities through their employer’s wellness program. 

“The high level of engagement among 50-59 year olds is especially important as we consider the increase in both average life expectancy and the incidence of a variety of chronic diseases, like diabetes and heart disease,” said Cummings.

The Virgin Pulse platform is also a strong component of employee wellness programs that BCBSRI offers to employers. For more information about BCBSRI’s Virgin Pulse platform or about employee wellness programs, please visit https://www.bcbsri.com/b2blue/wellness or speak to a broker.

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