Artificial intelligence continues to make its way into every fiber of our everyday lives, including health care. Now, Banner|Aetna, a health plan owned by Banner Health and Aetna, recently announced a program that brings the benefits of artificial intelligence to its 315,000 members.
The insurance users will be able to interact with an AI chatbot to obtain their personal health care information before getting in touch with a physician through text message. This mobile-driven app option is a step toward completely making the doctor visit a thing of the past and streamlining insurance and health claims.
Members will have 24/7 access to primary care through this virtual portal, which allows for time and money savings. Board-certified physicians can speak with patients through a video call option, provide diagnosis, and increase access to primary care. Currently, the plan is to begin offering this service in July of this year.
Leaders at Aetna fielded proposals from 15 different tech companies that offer this kind of virtual care service and chose a Seattle-based AI company, 98point6.
“With 98point6, we are pioneering a new approach to primary care that will further differentiate Banner|Aetna in the market,” Tom Grote, CEO of Banner|Aetna said. “We are committed to delivering convenience and affordability to our members, and our new virtual primary care offering accomplishes both. Our members will now be able to connect with board-certified physicians on their mobile device when and where they need it, increasing access to quality primary care.”
The technology is based on text messages from a mobile device, which means that people have all-day, all-night access to primary care services instead of having to wait until the next day to make an appointment. Have a weird cough that troubles you at 2 a.m.? Get on the app. Need information about a certain medication? You can be connected to a doctor in seconds.
“Banner|Aetna and 98point6 share a passion for making health care more accessible by providing efficient and effective patient care at the most affordable price,” Robbie Cape, CEO and co-founder of 98point6 said. “We are proud to bring our on-demand service to potentially more than 300,000 Banner|Aetna members.”
Members are asked a series of questions about their condition before getting virtual facetime with a board-certified physician. From there diagnosis can be made as well as the option to order a prescription or follow up with lab work. Virtual visits can cost as little as $5 for those who have a Health Savings Account or be free of charge for patients with a preferred provider organization plan.