Comcast, Independence Health join forces to build consumer-facing healthcare platform

Telecommunications giant Comcast is partnering with Independence Blue Cross' parent company, Philadelphia-based Independence Health Group, to develop a patient-centered technology and communications platform aimed at improving the care experience for both patients and providers, the companies announced April 19.

"Rapid technological advances in recent years have changed the expectations consumers have about accessing and using goods and services. Healthcare is no exception," Daniel Hilferty, Independence president and CEO, said in a press release. "Through this collaboration, we will explore how we can best use technology to enhance how consumers access and use healthcare services, which we know at times can be frustrating."

The internet-based platform will enable patients to access content and information about their unique healthcare journeys either at home or on the go. The companies plan to make the platform available nationally, across multiple distribution channels and devices.

Independence is no stranger to partnerships and investments to address complicated healthcare issues. The insurer has funded Achieve Well-being, a consumer empowerment solution, and it is a founding member or sponsor of a number of healthcare innovation efforts in Philadelphia, such as the Independence Blue Cross Center for Health Care Innovation and Dreamit Health. Similarly, Comcast is one of the founding members of the Health Care Innovation Collaborative in Philadelphia and has collaborated with UC Davis on a medically approved healthy aging series aimed at educating patients on heart health, fitness and exercise, and nutrition.

"Comcast's unique experience in technology and content can be an enabler for disruptive, personalized and media-rich innovations in healthcare," said Comcast's Chief Business Development Officer Sam Schwartz. "Independence is a company steeped in innovation and completely committed to the consumer experience. We're excited about this new partnership and the opportunity to work together using technology to help improve the effectiveness and efficiency of patient communications and education."

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