Aetna Relaunches iTriage, Blue Cross Unveils Mobile Health Site

Aetna has relaunched its iTriage app on its new CarePass open-data platform, while Blue Cross unveiled a new mobile health site in North Carolina.

Aetna has launched a new version of its iTriage mobile application, the first software program on its new open-data platform called CarePass.

CarePass allows patients to share data across multiple applications, and by June it will enable developers to create mobile health tools for the platform. Aetna plans to add more apps to CarePass later this year.

The platform will be open to any insurance carrier or consumer to use, and data will be available to third parties as well, Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini said at a March 5 New York launch event for iTriage. In June, Aetna plans to launch a health care IT app store with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Aetna will also integrate open data from HHS into its CarePass platform so developers can use the data to create mobile health tools, said Todd Park, chief technology officer at HHS. (Park was just named by the Obama administration to succeed Aneesh Chopra as the nation's chief technology officer.)

HHS' meaningful-use incentive program for electronic health records provides guidance on data-transfer standards and making data more interoperable, Park told eWEEK at the Aetna event. HHS is working to convert hospital-quality data into accessible and machine-readable APIs, he said.

"What we're trying to do is make it easier for third-party developers to use," said Park.

On Dec. 15, Aetna announced that it acquired Healthagen, the developer of iTriage. The carrier will demonstrate the new features of iTriage at the SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, from March 12-15.

Using iTriage, consumers can use an iPhone or Android device to research symptoms, search for medical providers and schedule appointments with doctors who match specific criteria the patients set. The new version provides more specific criteria for finding providers, including searching by gender and language spoken, as well as providers' years of experience. The enhanced app also includes patient reviews and a medical news feed.