Jiff Unveils Health App Development Platform, Wellness Marketplace

Jiff's cloud platform enables developers to create health apps focused on engagement, and a new mobile tool from Jiff and Towers Watson allows employers to track medical outcomes.

Digital health company Jiff has launched a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that allows health plans, providers and employers to develop digital health applications designed to engage consumers.

Companies will be able to develop apps that support weight-loss, diet-tracking and diabetes-management programs, Derek Newell, CEO of Jiff, told eWEEK.

The Jiff platform offers a Web and Apple iOS software development kit for building consumer health apps. It provides guidelines and protocols for health initiatives and integrating game mechanics into a wellness platform.

In addition, it incorporates real-time measurement and performance data that allows companies to compare it against health outcome objectives. Jiff also provides tools for checking symptoms and assessing health risks.

An engagement optimization engine allows companies to personalize programs for users and develop health applications. The goal of the engagement optimization engine is to "get people to do what they're supposed to do in a motivating way," Newell said.

It also features a compliance engine that allows apps to meet Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations. With the compliance engine, apps created on the platform can incorporate consumer content along with clinical data, the company reported.

Jiff also formed an alliance with professional services company Towers Watson to develop a mobile app called Health Outcomes Marketplace to allow employers and families to measure and improve health outcomes.

Employers will offer cash bonuses, premium discounts or health spending account deposits for reaching fitness or diet goals. An employee may receive a reward such as $500 for meeting a fitness or weight-loss goal during a quarter or year, Newell said.

"Employees are given money to go into a marketplace and pick a consumer application or set of applications that works for them," he explained.

Built on the Jiff cloud platform, the Health Outcomes Marketplace can connect with health tracking devices such as Fitbit or Jawbone.

"We are opening up a set of APIs that allow us to to connect with all of the weight-loss applications," Newell said. "Instead of employers paying a wellness or disease-management company to manage how people lose weight, we then align the platform and Towers set up a disease-management structure."

The platform allows employees of a company to purchase weight-loss apps such as LoseIt or health tracking devices like the Body Trace eScale to manage their health.

The Jiff Health Outcomes Marketplace mobile app allows consumers to track how many points they've accumulated and save money on health costs. Employers and health organizations can also monitor employee participation in wellness programs.

Towers Watson's health and wellness consulting expertise will aid Jiff in building the Health Outcomes Marketplace app.

"At a time when companies are looking for innovative ways to engage workers about personal health and improve outcomes, the Jiff platform makes it simple and fun for people to personalize and track their health," Mark Maselli, managing director for Towers Watson's Health and Group Benefits business, said in a statement.

Announced on June 11, Health Outcomes Marketplace app will allow employers to develop personalized health programs, improve employee incentive programs and provide employees with data about incentives in real time.

In addition, employers will be able to measure employee behavior and health outcomes, view real-time reports and benchmark program performance.