PROVIDENCE, RI--(Marketwired - September 12, 2016) - Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) today announced a new contract with Virgin Pulse to offer a customized wellness platform to its members. Beginning in 2017, BCBSRI members will have access to the global online solution to encourage, improve and sustain healthy habits.
Virgin Pulse, which acquired Rhode Island-based health software start-up ShapeUp Inc. in February 2016, designs technology that helps employers cultivate healthier lifestyle habits for their employees. Part of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group, the company will deliver custom wellness tools and offerings for all BCBSRI members.
"In the Virgin Pulse team, we found a partner that not only offered a dynamic set of tools, but that would also bring ideas to the table and engage with us in developing a wellness strategy," said Melissa Cummings, senior vice president and chief customer officer, BCBSRI. "Blue Cross is committed to helping our members live healthier lives through better access to care and wellness resources, and we do it by pursuing partnerships that push the boundaries of a typical health plan."
BCBSRI is the first health insurer to make the Virgin Pulse platform available to all of the plan's more than 450,000 members, which it plans to do by the end of 2017. Features include personalization that responds to individual preferences (for example, delivering more nutrition or fitness content based on user engagement); compatibility with all major wearable devices; the ability to create "challenges" to engage employees in meeting health milestones; nutrition planning and tracking tools; and dynamic health-risk assessments and quizzes, all in a mobile-driven platform with a clean, intuitive design. Employers will be able to further tailor content and challenges to fit their culture and brands.
"We are delighted to partner with BCBSRI to bring our wellbeing tools, programs, and platform to the local Rhode Island community," said Dr. Rajiv Kumar, president & chief medical officer, Virgin Pulse, and founder of ShapeUp. "Rhode Island has always been incredibly supportive of the employee wellbeing space. I'm so pleased that Virgin Pulse will be partnering with the largest health plan in Rhode Island to bring healthy habits and positive change to our state."
Employers will be able to use on-demand analytics to measure their wellness programs' impact and levels of employee engagement in these programs. Virgin Pulse finds that employee participation in wellbeing improves workplace culture, increases productivity, and boosts overall employee wellness through better nutrition, sleep, and activity levels. This in turn has the effect of lowering medical costs and improving business outcomes.
About Virgin Pulse
Virgin Pulse, the leading provider of technology solutions that promote employee engagement and wellbeing and part of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group, helps employers create workforces that are happier, healthier and ultimately more productive. The company's modern, mobile first platform delivers a personalized user experience that utilizes gamification to engage users in building habits that inspire meaningful and measurable change across individuals and the businesses they serve. By helping employees thrive at work and in all aspects of life, Virgin Pulse is helping change lives and businesses around the world for good. More than 2,500 global organizations representing many of the Fortune 500 and Best Places to Work, have selected Virgin Pulse's solutions to engage their workforces and drive their businesses forward.
About Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) is the state's leading health insurer and covers more than 450,000 members. Our mission is to improve our members' health and peace of mind by facilitating their access to affordable, high-quality healthcare. BCBSRI is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit www.bcbsri.com, follow us on Twitter @BCBSRI, and like us on Facebook at fb.com/bcbsri.