Wireless Wellness: App-tastic or Just Fun & Games?
Imagine an app that could cut saturated fat from your diet. Or one that could cure gingivitis. Well, while technology has had a big role in making us more sedentary, it also has the potential to make us better informed, healthier and even more fit. In fact, patients are banking on this potential, which is why the AppStore offers more than 7,000 health apps for iPhone users alone. In this 60-min SXSW talk, Ina Fried of Dow Jones' All Things Digital sits down with Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini to discuss how people are navigating this new landscape by using technology, especially mobile tech, to manage their health and make better health decisions. Already there are apps for testing eyesight, tracking exercise and even helping diabetics manage their glucose levels. Vast online communities complement these mobile apps by letting patients share, inform, and support one another. But what's next? Technology also has the potential to reshape the doctor-patient relationship, transforming it from one characterized by irregular visits to treat illness to true doctor-patient partnerships focused on wellness. And what about online health care records we hear so much about? We used to have a better chance of seeing bigfoot, but today companies like Aetna are making mobile health records a reality. Is this is a privacy breach in the making or are their real benefits to having this info on the go? This session is sponsored by Aetna.
Mark T. Bertolini is Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Aetna, a Fortune 100 diversified health care benefits company with more than $34.018 billion in 2010 revenue, a workforce of approximately 34,000 and operations in North America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. A member of the company's Board of Directors, Mr. Bertolini assumed the role of Chairman on April 8, 2011 and CEO on November 29, 2010.
Mr. Bertolini joined Aetna in 2003 as head of Aetna’s Specialty Products. In July 2007, he was named president, responsible for all of Aetna’s businesses and operations across the company’s broad range of health care products and related services – including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, as well as medical management capabilities and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Prior to serving as Aetna’s president, Mr. Bertolini was executive vice president and head of Aetna’s regional businesses, which included the company’s individual, retiree, small group and middle market segments, as well as numerous product, network and service areas.
Recognized as an accessible, forward-thinking and solutions-oriented leader, Mr. Bertolini is actively engaged in the national dialogue on health care reform, meeting regularly with state and federal policymakers to advocate for measures that increase access, lower costs and improve quality of health care. He is a strong advocate of market-based solutions, the expansion and use of health information technology, and the sustainability of the employer-based system.
Firmly committed to diversity and inclusion, Mr. Bertolini also serves as the company’s executive sponsor for diversity, participates in several Aetna employee resource groups, and maintains a blog to communicate with employees.
Among his civic activities, Mr. Bertolini is a member of the board of directors of the University of Connecticut Health Center and, in 2009, was elected the first straight ally board member of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the council of advisors of the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, an organization founded by Paul Newman that serves children with cancer and other serious illnesses. He has been honored for his leadership by numerous universities and organizations, including the National Italian American Foundation, Outward Bound, the National Kidney Registry, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, the Quinnipiac University Business School, and Wayne State University School of Business. He speaks regularly on the topics of health care reform, employee benefits and insurance, health information technology and business leadership, and his perspectives are featured frequently in the media.
Prior to joining Aetna, Mr. Bertolini held executive positions at Cigna, NYLCare Health Plans, and SelectCare, Inc., where he served as president and chief executive officer.
Born and raised in Detroit, Mr. Bertolini worked various jobs throughout high school and college, including assembly work at a Ford Motor Company plant and various caregiver roles in health care delivery. Mr. Bertolini is a spinal cord injury survivor and is partially disabled as the result of a severe skiing accident in 2004. In 2007, Mr. Bertolini donated a kidney to his son. His previous work and personal experiences with the health care system are foundational to his dedication to improving the patient experience and addressing the longstanding challenges facing the U.S. health care system.
Mr. Bertolini holds an undergraduate degree in business administration/finance from Wayne State University and a MBA in finance from Cornell University.