Presbyterian Health Plan members who have intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities now have access to an app that allows them to receive personalized fitness regimens, a move that Presbyterian leadership says allows them to address health inequalities in the state.
The health insurer, an arm of Presbyterian Healthcare Services, has partnered with New Mexico-based TruFit to offer the app to subscribers with self-directed benefits, PHP chief medical officer Gray Clarke said. Soon, the health insurer hopes to open access to the application to the larger PHP-enrolled Medicaid population.
“It grew out of our recognition of the need to address inequalities in individuals with disabilities and our recognition that individuals with disabilities have even higher rates of all chronic conditions than others,” said Clarke. “So we’re talking about diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, obesity, all of that. And so we were looking for unique solutions to really provide concrete solutions to address the unique needs of people with disabilities.”
Conversations between PHP and TruFit began about a year ago, said co-founder and CEO Adam White, when the app was still in beta testing. But he said the company’s goal is to reach out to health insurers to offer the service through their coverage, rather than just having people pay for the app through a subscription.
He said that when he brought the idea to the Presbyterian team, they were “very excited about what we were doing and that’s kind of led us to this now, where we’ve launched this program for its self-directed members.”
TruFit, which for non-Presbyterian Health Plan members costs a monthly subscription of $10, launched last year on the Apple and Google Play app stores. It allows users to find personalized exercises such as resistance, mobility and stabilization tailored to an individual. It also offers people the ability 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 emerged long after the company’s founding in 2010, when TruFit was initially launched as a fitness company that invented and manufactured a fitness product.
“Throughout what we were doing, we uncovered the disability population and kind of identified that there was a health inequity in terms of accessibility to adaptive health and wellness and fitness,” White said. “We decided to pivot about five or six years ago and we started to develop this program with the Arch of San Diego. And that evolved into a book, which then evolved into the app, which we’re bringing to Presbyterian members now.”
TruFit has also partnered with Western Sky Community Care, White said, and is looking to connect with nonprofits in the state to get more adaptable athletes on the app.