UnitedHealth Teams with 3 Mobile Health Tech. Firms

The Minnetonka-based company said it is partnering with three companies that offer health related mobile technologies-CareSpeak Communications, Fitbit, and Lose It!

Minnetonka-based insurance giant UnitedHealth Group, Inc., announced Monday that it has entered into partnerships with three mobile health technology companies-Fitbit, CareSpeak Communications, and Lose It!

All three companies offer health-related mobile applications or devices. UnitedHealth Group did not disclose how or when will the new partners' products be integrated into its own offerings.

New Jersey-based CareSpeak Communications offers a mobile application that allows patients to report, via text messages, their medication intakes and biometric data-including blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and weight-to their clinician or care providers. Users can also receive educational and motivational messages, incentives, and rewards for meeting their health goals.

San Francisco, California-based Fitbit makes a device that works like a pedometer and allows users to track their activity-including number of steps taken, stairs climbed, and calories burned. The device can be supplemented with Fitbit's mobile app that allows users to log food intake and activities such as yoga and weight-lifting.

UnitedHealth Group said Fitbit will be integrated into its own mobile health app, OptumizeMe, but did not offer additional details.

Lose It!, created by Boston-based FitNow Inc., is a weight-management mobile app available for iPhones and Android devices.

“Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the way that people take control of their health,” Rick Jelinek, executive vice president and CEO of UnitedHealth's Emerging Business Group, said in a statement. “UnitedHealth Group is committed to developing innovative solutions and we look forward to working with such creative partners as CareSpeak Communications, Lose It!, and Fitbit to help people live healthier lives.”

UnitedHealth Group is Minnesota's largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $94.2 billion in 2010. The company offers health and well-being products and services through two platforms-UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services, and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services.