Why Health Insurance Companies Fail To Generate Significant Reach with Their App Portfolio

Join Our Mailing List

The “Health Insurance App Benchmarking Report for 2015”



By Ralf Gordon Jahns


The majority of health insurance companies can be described as hesitant in their app publishing activities, even those that have a larger app portfolio fail to have a significant impact. A new report from research2guidance analyses global app publishing activities of the leading health insurance companies.


Some of the reasons are that health insurance companies are not leveraging their assets, their apps are not compliant with state-of-the-art app publishing rules and missing cross promotion.

The vast majority of health insurance companies have failed to generate a significant reach with their app portfolio, with 67% of health insurance companies having achieved less than 100,000 downloads. The majority of apps in the portfolio of healthcare payers belong to the long-tail:

  • 70% of health insurance companies can be described as hesitant publishing only 1 or 2 apps. However, if health insurance companies were to publish more apps they wouldn’t necessarily generate higher download numbers.
  • 77% of health insurance companies belong to the low impact category having published less than average apps with less than average download numbers. Only 9% of health insurance app publishers could be described as active with above average impact.


Aetna is the one health insurance company that stands out. Having published 28 apps across both iOS and Android Aetna have achieved more than 14million downloads, significantly more than any other health insurance company. That being said 85% of those download come from just on app within their app portfolio, iTriage. This is not uncommon amongst those health insurance companies that have generated a large number of downloads.

For example, 7 of the top 10 biggest health insurance companiesapp portfolios generate more than 50% of downloads from the top performing app. What are the reasons for the little impact the traditional payers of the healthcare systems have in the app economy?


These are some findings from research2guidance’s latest report “Health Insurance App Benchmarking 2015”. The report provides information on app categories health insurance companies concentrate on, the number of apps they have published, target user groups and the organization of their app business model.




The study results indicate that:

  • Most health insurance companies fail to produce ‘state of the art’ apps – Apps in most cases do not incorporate the 6 key elements of best practice: Tracking and coaching, automated input, remote consultation, secure use of mHealth data, integrating their solutions into the current IT healthcare infrastructure and beautiful design and usability.
  • Companies fail to realize the potential of app integrated incentive schemes – Health insurance companies are best positioned to link financial rewards via incentive schemes to healthy and cost saving behavior of their members. However, currently there are only a few companies that link healthy behavior to financial rewards with the help of an app.
  • Health insurance companies fail to successfully cross-promote their app portfolio– Companies do not successfully leverage their app portfolio through cross-promotion. Best practice mHealth app publishers manage to have almost equally successful apps in their portfolio by cross promotion using for example, “more apps” screens, pop-ups and push notifications. This is not being done at all by health insurance companies.



Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com


Product DetailsProduct Details

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: