Cigna takes Virgin Pulse for its health plan members

Virgin Pulse

Cigna Healthcare has reached an agreement to include the Virgin Pulse health and wellness digital programme in a digital portal used by millions of US customers in its health plan.

From the start of next year, Cigna customers who receive coverage through their employer and use its myCigna portal will be able to access the Virgin Group company's digital health platform, centred around Homebase for Health, a programme which uses artificial intelligence and behavioural science to help people take control of their mental, physical, and social wellbeing.

Homebase for Health allows users to set various personal health goals, track their daily progress, and received feedback based on the data they have submitted, as well as earn financial rewards for meeting their objectives.

Participants can log their own results on measures such as minutes exercised, weight, and time slept, harvest data from wearable devices such as the Apple Watch, and get on-demand digital content to help them live a healthier lifestyle. They can share their activity with co-workers, family, and friends to encourage each other to achieve their health goals.

It also links directly to other programmes, like Whil for reducing stress and building resilience, the fitness, mindfulness, and nutrition system Wellbeats, Koa Health for workplace wellbeing, and Sworkit, which provides at home workouts and fitness plans.

Virgin Pulse recently reported the results of a study involving more than 90,000 Homebase for Health users that showed that a group engaged with the platform achieved improvements in key metabolic indicators compared to a matched control group that barely interacted with it.

Active users with obesity, hypertension, and prediabetes/diabetes saw statistically significant improvements in body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and blood glucose levels compared to controls over the course of a year.

The company also recently expanded the range of digital health services via an agreement with Headspace, which layered the psychiatry, therapy, clinical care, self-guided care, behavioural health coaching, and employee assistance programmes into Homebase for Health.

"Digital health programs improve health outcomes and enhance vitality for individuals and their communities," said Heather Dlugolenski, senior vice president of commercial strategy and solutions at Cigna Healthcare.

"For employers, investing in employee wellbeing directly translates into a more productive workforce and a thriving business," she added. "That's what we're offering through this enhanced digital platform in partnership with Virgin Pulse."