What better way to eat right, exercise and improve your well-being than to do them with friends? That’s the idea behind a fun, new mobile app called WellWithMe. The free app lets friends work together to improve their health by sharing challenges, status updates and photos of their good-health achievements. WellWithMe was made possible through support from Aetna (NYSE: AET), a leading global diversified health care benefits company. “WellWithMe is such a fun, social way to engage friends and family members to get and stay healthy,” said Karen Weinseiss, Aetna International’s senior vice president of International Health Care Management. “All of us are much more likely to stick with good eating habits or daily exercise if we have a buddy to share the experience. We are pleased to have supported the development of WellWithMe as part of our drive to help people live healthier lives.” WellWithMe lets people invite each other to join them in three healthy activities every day, one from each of its three categories: Move, Eat and Grow. Under Move, the activity might be a simple one, such as “take the stairs instead of the elevator,” or more vigorous, such as “swim for 30 minutes.” In Eat, activities include “eat three different colored fruits” or “have a salad with lunch.” In Grow, suggested activities are “read for 30 minutes” and “make eye contact with five people.” Participants can log on and invite friends through their Facebook accounts. The app keeps a running tally of completed activities and lets participants share photos and achievements. The idea for WellWithMe began in Berlin on November 3, 2012 when a four-member team of young European and American software developers competed at the Aetna International-sponsored code-a-thon held prior to Health 2.0 Europe, an annual conference on health technology. During the 29-hour competition, the foursome created an impressive prototype mobile app that earned them a €3000 prize. Their next step was to refine the app to make it ready for consumer use. With additional backing from Aetna International and some extra brain power from several developers they met at the contest, the team recently added WellWithMe to the Apple App Store and Google Play. The app is free. “We’re terribly excited to see people all over the world use our app,” said Caleb Oller, leader of the Berlin 6, the team who created the application. “It’s very gratifying to know that our work can help people live healthier lives and have fun in the process. We’re grateful to Aetna for helping us produce a really useful tool.”
Aetna has been a pioneer in developing mobile technology tools to help its customers manage their health. The company offers free provider directory apps that lets its international members find nearby doctors and hospitals in Aetna’s network of 100,000 providers in dozens of countries outside the United States. Aetna also has apps that can help its customers understand their symptoms, monitor their exercise and eating habits, and track their claims. Earlier this year, Aetna introduced a mobile app that allows its international customers outside the U.S. file their claims from their smartphones.In December 2012, Aetna was honored with an Asia-Pacific EMMA award for the most innovative use of technology in global mobility by the Forum for Expatriate Management. About Aetna International Aetna International is committed to helping create a stronger, healthier global community by delivering comprehensive health benefits and health management solutions worldwide. Aetna International's expatriate business is one of the industry's largest and most prominent international health benefits providers, supporting more than 500,000 members worldwide. The organization’s expatriate offerings include medical, dental, vision, life, disability and emergency assistance. Aetna International’s health management business collaborates with health care systems, government entities and plan sponsors around the world to design and build locally applied health management solutions to improve health, quality and cost outcomes. For more information, see www.aetnainternational.com. About Aetna Aetna is one of the United States' leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving an estimated 44 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers' compensation administrative services and health information technology services. Aetna’s customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com.