BOSTON — January 13, 2012 — It's no surprise that New Year's resolutions quickly get kicked to the curb after the holidays. According to a TIME Special Report, getting fit, eating healthier and quitting smoking are among the Top 10 Commonly Broken New Year's Resolutions. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) has the mobile apps and online support tools you need for a healthier New Year.
"New Year's resolutions are a great way to make a positive life change, however they can be difficult to stick to," says Scott Young, vice president of health and wellness for BCBSMA. "Having the right support tools at your fingertips can mean the difference between success and failure. BCBSMA's suite of smart phone applications and social networking tools are designed to help individuals meet their goals whether it's getting fit or eating better — at any time of the year."
BCBSMA's Suite of Mobile Applications and Social Networking Tools Include:
- EatBetter GoalGetter™
If your health and fitness goals include losing weight, exercising more, or eating well use the free GoalGetter iPhone app as your personal coach and nutritionist. The app helps BCBSMA members and non-members track food intake and calories burned from working out. Features include: daily caloric recommendations based on personal goals, nutritional information, exercise and water consumption tracking and inspirational messages to encourage users to work toward their goals. The app is free and easy to download from either bluecrossma.com/goalgetter or the iPhone App Store.
- GoalGetter™ Pedometer
Planning to get in shape this year? The GoalGetter Pedometer iPhone app is another great tool to add to the "get fit" arsenal. GoalGetter works like a personal walking or running coach and features a full-function pedometer with GPS mapping so favorite routes can be mapped and stored. The app tracks goal progress and sorts data by time, pace and calories burned. Just download it and go.
Thinking about starting a family in 2012? Text4Baby, an educational program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, is a text-based mobile information service that promotes maternal and child health throughout pregnancy and baby's first year of life. Women can sign up by texting BABY (BEBE in Spanish) to 511411 and will receive free1 SMS text messages each week, timed to their due date or baby's date of birth. Learn more by visiting: livinghealthybabies.com, another resource dedicated to BCBSMA members who are pregnant, new parents or thinking about conceiving.
- Blue National Doctor and Hospital Finder App
Planning to travel? The Blue National Doctor and Hospital Finder App is now available to Blue Cross Blue Shield plan members with an Android or iPhone. Members can use it to find urgent care; locate physicians, hospitals or other healthcare professionals nationwide; do a GPS navigation search; and view results on a map, or through email or SMS text. Learn more at http://www.bcbs.com/mobile/.
Pilots that are making a difference
BCBSMA is also piloting two new mobile phone services — Text2Quit, an interactive smoking cessation program, and a CT/MRI locator app which helps individuals locate CT scans and MRI services in a low cost setting.
- Text2QuitSM2 is an interactive smoking cessation program that BCBSMA is piloting with several of its employer customers. Studies have shown that text-based interventions are two times more likely to help smokers quit. The program features personalized text messages sent over a four-month period to help participants quit smoking. Features include: goal setting (including cigarette use and quit date); targeted education and support: educational messages, medication selector, cigarette intake monitor, savings calculator; and real time feedback and interactivity such as text-based surveys, distraction games and craving tips. Text2Quit also includes a personalized web portal where users can set/manage goals and track their progress. The program can be accessed through a combination of text and web, or through the text interface alone, making it available through any mobile phone with text messaging capabilities.
- CT/MRI Locator — When the New England Carpenters Health Fund (NECHF), discovered that only a handful of the approximately 1,400 annual CT scans done on their employees were at less costly, high-quality freestanding imaging facilities they asked for help. BCBSMA developed a smart phone app, using Google Maps, to help NECHF employees find lower cost, high-quality freestanding imaging centers in Massachusetts. NECHF members can now easily locate freestanding imaging centers for MRI and CT scans that cost about $500 instead of $1,500 at a hospital setting. Using lower cost imaging facilities will result in significant savings for NECHF.
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Have a question about one of our tools or another member service related topic? We can help find you a doctor, explain your benefits, or assist you with a claim among many other things. You can now reach us (@BCBSMAservice) on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BCBSMAservice.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (www.bluecrossma.com) is a community-focused, tax-paying, not-for-profit health plan headquartered in Boston. We are committed to working with others in a spirit of shared responsibility to make quality health care affordable. Consistent with our corporate promise to always put our 2.8 million members first, we are rated among the nation's best health plans for member satisfaction and quality.
1. Text4baby is offered at no additional charge through certain cell phone carriers. To learn more visit: www.text4baby.org.
2. Text2QuitSM is a registered service of Voxiva.