Ground-breaking alliance delivers Australia's largest telemonitoring program

Media Release, 30 July 2013

Australia’s largest not-for-profit private health insurer, HCF, today announced the largest ever rollout of a telemonitoring program in Australia, in partnership with global well-being company, Healthways and Telstra.

The strategic partnership will enhance HCF’s award-winning My Health Guardian program, which provides tailored support and advice to more than 25,000 members suffering from chronic health conditions.

Drawing on Telstra’s capability to support healthcare in the home through the extensive coverage of the Telstra Next G® mobile network and Healthways’ proven expertise in health management and engagement, the telemonitoring service will in time provide bio-metric monitoring combined with telephone-based health support from registered nurses to approximately 3,300 HCF members in their homes.

The program will utilise a range of easy-to-use WiFi-enabled devices including weight scales, tools for measuring blood pressure, glucometers for monitoring blood glucose levels for people with diabetes or hypoglycaemia, and oximeters for measuring the oxygen saturation levels in blood.

HCF Managing Director, Shaun Larkin, said: “Our focus is on driving innovation to help our members be proactive in staying healthier for longer. My Health Guardian supports more than 25,000 HCF members manage a chronic condition. This new telemonitoring program will help a significant proportion of these people gain better control of their chronic condition and live healthier lives.”

A successful trial of diabetic participants in My Health Guardian in 2012 found that telemonitoring service delivered significant health benefits, assisted members manage their conditions and led to high member satisfaction.

The telemonitoring program is the latest in a series of enhancements to My Health Guardian. Last year HCF upgraded the service with an enhanced website and integrated iPhone and Android applications. Healthways, which provides care management and well-being programs to over 45 million people worldwide, delivers the My Health Guardian program on behalf of HCF.

Healthways Australia Managing Director, Dr Linda Swan, said: “This partnership has the power to drive innovation with expertise in science, technology and population health management strategies, thereby delivering powerful, sustainable and cost-effective solutions. Through evidence based initiatives like this program, we are able to meet the future needs of Australians and work with our partners to ensure Australia remains at the forefront of healthy living.”

Head of Health at Telstra, Shane Solomon, said the partnership built on Telstra’s existing relationships with HCF and Healthways Australia. “Telstra has a longstanding relationship with HCF and last year we started managing Healthways’ information and communications technology in the Telstra cloud. eHealth has the potential to transform health care delivery in Australia and programs such as this, which help Australian’s better manage their own health, are an important step forward and it’s exciting to see Telstra help drive this innovation,” he said.

About HCF

HCF is Australia’s largest not-for-profit health insurer, currently covering nearly1.5 million Australians. HCF has exceeded the industry growth rate each year for the past five years and consistently pays back more in benefits from earned contributions than the industry average. As well as health insurance, HCF operates a niche life insurance business, HCF Life, a retirement and aged care accommodation business under the Manchester Unity brand, and seven specialist dental and eyecare centres.

About Healthways

Healthways is the largest independent global provider of well-being improvement solutions. Dedicated to creating a healthier world one person at a time, the Company uses the science of behavior change to produce and measure positive change in well-being for our customers, which include employers, integrated health systems, hospitals, physicians, health plans, communities, and government entities. We provide highly specific and personalized support for each individual and their team of experts to optimize each participant’s health and productivity and to reduce health-related costs. Results are achieved by addressing longitudinal health risks and care needs of everyone in a given population. The Company has scaled its proprietary technology infrastructure and delivery capabilities developed over 30 years and now serves approximately 45 million people on four continents. Learn more at the Healthways website.