Hilferty said the IBX Healthy Steps app will serve members who are already focused on fitness and may inspire those who are just getting started, and because it is free and available to anyone, it’s easily accessible to help them get engaged in regular exercise, knowing they can start at their own pace and easily track progress.
According to Neilson, one-third of Americans already have smart phones, and with this demographic growing monthly, the pedometer app has the potential to help millions of people get fit with a new way to track exercise in a pocket-sized workout tool. The IBX Healthy Steps Pedometer app is customizable by gender, height, and weight to precisely calculate calories burned with each workout, and:
- track the length, speed, and distance of a walk, jog, or run.
- follow the user’s location using a GPS-enabled map.
- save results of workouts to view improvement over time.
- share workout status with friends using integrated Facebook, Twitter, and text messaging.
- provide BMI, daily hydration needs, personal health stats, and a variety of health calculators.
Galletti noted that with other pedometer apps he has noticed some lack of accuracy but was thrilled to test the Healthy Steps app’s distance calculation and found it "right on the money." "I think people expect when you download a free app, you’re going to see a lot of advertising, but I loved the clean simplicity of this app, and the way it was easy to pick up and figure out very quickly," Galletti added.
Janney explained that 9,000 Independence Blue Cross members who were participants of the 2011 Blue Cross Broad Street Run were offered the Healthy Steps app first, in the initial release of the app last month. He said the free app offers year-round support of these participants’ training programs to stay fit and well.
The pilot test group participants also praised the ability to share their workout progress with friends in a competitive spirit, and to help encourage coworkers along in their training by commenting on the automatic Facebook and Twitter posts that the app can send. A few who were traditional pedometer users, said they like that they no longer have to carry a bulky pedometer on their waistband that calibrates steps and motion. Instead, the IBX Healthy Steps Pedometer app can help runners and walkers:
- send home an automated message when they hit a mile mark on a training run – so family can know when to expect the runner within a specified timeframe.
- have friends meet them at an event finish line at an estimated time based on auto-sent messages friends received from earlier mileage points.
- work toward a goal such as 100 miles in a month, and track progress.
ObjectWave Corporation Chicago
Independence Blue Cross will soon launch the new IBX mobile portal via another free downloadable app that will allow members to manage their health plan, get their own personal health data and benefits information on the go, right in the palm of their hands. Through the convenience of IBX Mobile, members will also be able to find a doctor in the network, access their personal health record, or help a friend get a quote for individual health plan coverage.
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Independence Blue Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania
SOURCE Independence Blue Cross