Comcast and Independence Health Group unite to drive the next stage of healthcare

By Catherine Sturman
US media and technology giant Comcast has partnered with growing healthcare business Independence Health Group in a new healthcare initiative. Serving o...

US media and technology giant Comcast has partnered with growing healthcare business Independence Health Group in a new healthcare initiative. Serving over 8mn US citizens in 24 states, the companies will establish a new patient-centered technology and communications platform to provide operational efficiency within the delivery of patient care between provider and patient.

Guaranteeing increased accessibility, the platform will grant access both at home and on the move, across a number of channels and services.

"Rapid technological advances in recent years have changed the expectations consumers have about accessing and using goods and services. Health care is no exception. Through this collaboration, we will explore how we can best use technology to enhance how consumers access and use health care services, which we know at times can be frustrating," explained Daniel J. Hilferty, Independence President and CEO.

"There is no better place than Philadelphia – a global centre for health care innovation – to launch this partnership. And we believe that we have found the ideal partner in Comcast, which is a global media and technology leader."

Independence is expanding on its commitment to invest in standalone businesses focused on health care innovation. Its collaboration with Comcast will enhance technology, communications, and media capabilities, as well as expertise to best serve patients.

"Comcast's unique experience in technology and content can be an enabler for disruptive, personalised, and media-rich innovations in health care," commented Sam Schwartz, Chief Business Development Officer at Comcast.

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"Independence is a company steeped in innovation and completely committed to the consumer experience. We want to use technology to help improve the effectiveness and efficiency of patient communications and education."

Independence has a long history of tackling difficult health care challenges through partnerships and investments in scalable, high-impact health care innovations. This includes innovating and funding health care digital initiatives such as Achieve Well-being consumer empowerment solutions; developing value-based care models; and fostering public-private collaborations that improve quality of care, lower costs, and promote health care innovation.

Most recently, Comcast also collaborated on a medically-approved Healthy Aging Series with UC Davis, producing 108 videos on topics including Heart Health, Fitness & Exercise, and Nutrition.

"The way we're viewing it is as a digital health company," Brian Lobley, President of commercial and consumer markets at the Independence Blue Cross division, informed CNBC.

"It's going to be a digital platform that is certainly going to be enabled via the TV, and the Comcast app, but [going] broader than both companies' existing footprint."


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