Comcast, Independence Health team up on consumer-focused platform
- Communications company Comcast is joining with Independence Health Group to launch a patient-centered technology platform.
- The new platform will let patients access content and information related to their care plans, the companies said Thursday. They plan to make it available nationally across multiple distribution channels and devices.
- Independence Health serves about 8.5 million people in 24 states and the District of Columbia, including 2.5 million in southeastern Pennsylvania. Comcast is the nation’s largest cable and broadband provider and parent of NBCUniversal.
The firms did not provide details about the new platform or say when it would launch, but the collaboration comes as providers and payers are focusing on value-based care models to improve outcomes, increase patient satisfaction and reduce costs.
Consumers, too, are looking for convenient ways to access health-related information, diagnose symptoms and see doctors virtually from their home or workplace.
Comcast could be playing catch up as incumbent health IT vendors adapt their businesses to the new market. From athenahealth and Allscripts to Epic, vendors are working to retrofit their products as platforms. These companies have brand recognition and already have their hooks into their customer base while hoping to attract adoption and use among patients.
However, as little details have been offered over the Comcast-Independence Health Group partnership, its grand plan and overall strategy is a bit unclear. It does speak to the trend of organizations outside the traditional line of companies looking to tap into the healthcare market.
Comcast joins Apple, Google, Amazon and other technology companies that are eager to cash in on the healthcare space and get ahead of the competition. In February, Apple announced plans to launch a primary care clinic for employees at its headquarters in Santa Clara County, California. The company also recently announced that it is making personal health records accessible on its latest iPhones — what could be a major step in facilitating the exchange of health data if adoption catches on.