Novu Health Engagement Blog

AHIP Consumer Experience & Digital Health Forum: Day One

Jordan Mauer

Are You Innovating for Innovation’s Sake? Or Are You Using Innovation to Solve the Problem of Consumer Engagement?

In search of the latest and greatest when it comes to health plan customer engagement, we traveled to Chicago for the 3-day AHIP Consumer Experience & Digital Health Forum.


AHIP Consumer Experience and Digital Health Forum Event Logo



In search of the latest and greatest when it comes to health plan customer engagement, we traveled to Chicago for the 3-day AHIP Consumer Experience & Digital Health Forum.


Here’s our takeaway after day one. 

  • Innovation for innovation’s sake is not particularly interesting. What are the problems we’re trying to solve?

This came from the keynote speaker, Reed V. Tuckson, MD, managing director of Tuckson Health Connections and former president and chief of medical affairs for UnitedHealth Group. Translation: too many apps and programs take a “build-it-and-they-will-come” approach instead of being designed to solve a specific problem.


  • Fifteen years after the Institute of Medicine published Crossing the Quality Chasm documenting the numerous shortcoming of the US health care system and outlining a path for improvement, the US health care system is still too expensive with poor quality. The consumer experience is too complex and confusing with little empowerment; coordination of care is nearly non-existent; and there is not enough focus on evidence-based medicine. Most importantly: the system has yet to address the coming wave of chronic disease.

The only way to address these seemingly intractable problems, Tuckson told a packed auditorium, is with digital.


Digital is the linchpin that will drive the health care system, he said. It will be used to organize, interpret, and apply clinical data; expand access to more convenient health care; enhance quality customer engagement; drive the proteomics/genomics revolution; spur consumers to take action with their health; and move beyond the medical to the social determinants of health in an effort to get upstream of the chronic disease crisis.


Shed any preconceptions you have about what “digital” means, Tuckson said. It’s big data, machine learning, cloud computing, image managing, medical device data and interoperability systems, of course. But it’s also tools that connect across settings of care; software as medical devices; and telehealth, mobile health, and communication via social media.


It’s also precision medicine: the promise of genomics and proteomics relies on the ability to mine huge databases of genetic data in conjunction with data on everything from a patient’s lifestyle to their economic status to their environment.


  • Health plans should be planning the consumer experience 5 years out—and designing it for the customers they’ll have in 5 years, not just the ones they have today.

That’s what Anthem is doing, said Natalie Schneider, its vice president of consumer experience. Her company identified 45 initiatives to transform the member experience over the next 5 years and has teams currently operationalizing each. The goal? Make interactions with the health plan and the medical system as easy, intuitive, personalized, and dynamic as interactions with Amazon and Netflix.


  • Move beyond wellness to well-being. At least half of disease and death is related to our behaviors and the decisions we make in our life, Victor J. Strecher, PhD, professor and director for innovation and social entrepreneurship at the University of the Michigan, said in his presentation.

The five components of good health—sleep, presence/mindfulness, relationships, physical and creative activity, and eating well—provide the energy, willpower and resilience required to manage other issues like depression, chronic pain and stress, and to push yourself to live a healthier life.


Simply having a sense of purpose is one of the most powerful determinants of health, he said, with peer-reviewed research demonstrating that people with a sense of purpose live longer, are more likely to use preventive health services, spend fewer nights in the hospital and, as an added bonus, have more friends and more sex.


So, we have to ask: What are you doing to develop a consumer engagement initiative for the near future? How are you integrating those efforts with the digital revolution in health care? And how are you engaging with your customers to promote well-being, not just wellness?


Follow us here for more from #AHIPdigital over the next 2 days.



NovuHealth is the health care industry’s leading marketing and behavior change platform, helping health plans improve quality ratings, manage risk and drive engagement.