Presbyterian Health Plan members who have intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities now have access to an app that allows them to receive tailored fitness regimens.
The health insurance company, a branch of Presbyterian Healthcare Services, partnered with New Mexico-based TruFit to offer the app to policyholders with self-directed benefits, PHP Chief Medical Officer Gray Clarke said. Soon, the health insurer hopes to open access to the app to the larger Medicaid population enrolled in PHP.
“It grew out of our recognition of the need to address disability inequalities, and our recognition that individuals with disabilities have even higher rates of all chronic conditions than others,” Clarke said. “So we’re talking about diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, obesity, all those things. And so we were looking for unique solutions to provide really concrete solutions for the unique needs of individuals with disabilities.”
Talks between PHP and TruFit started about a year ago, said co-founder and CEO Adam White, when the app was still in its beta testing phase. But he said the company’s goal was to engage with health insurers to offer the service through their coverage, rather than just have people pay for the app through a subscription.
He said that when he pitched the idea to the Presbyterian team, they were “really excited about what we were doing and it sort of led us to launch this program for their self-directed members.”
TruFit, which costs a $10 monthly subscription for non-Presbyterian Health Plan members, launched last year on the Apple and Google Play app stores. It allows users to find custom workouts such as in endurance, mobility, and stabilization that are tailored to an individual. It also allows people to join communities where “adaptive athletes can connect with coaches to help them improve their fitness and coach them along the way,” White said.
The app came long after the company’s founding in 2010, when TruFit had initially launched as a fitness company that invented and manufactured a fitness product.
“In the course of what we were doing, we discovered the population with disabilities and found that there was a health disparity in terms of accessibility to adaptive health and wellness and fitness,” White said. “We decided to turn around about five or six years ago and started developing this program with the Arc of San Diego. And that evolved into a book, which then evolved into the app, which we’re now bringing to Presbyterian members.”
TruFit also partnered with Western Sky Community Care, White said, and wants to connect with nonprofits in the state to get more adaptive athletes on the app.