“Every company is a tech company,” Christopher Mimms asserted in the Wall Street Journal in December 2018. Connectivity, artificial intelligence, and automation are now competencies every company must master, Mimms explains.

This ethos underpins Humana’s decision to join CTA, the Consumer Technology Association which hosts CES every January in Las Vegas. If you read this blog, you know one of the fastest-growing “aisles” at the annual conference is digital health.

Humana joined up with CTA’s Health and Fitness Technology Division this month. Last year, Humana hired Heather Cox in the new post of Chief Digital Health and Analytics Officer, reporting directly to Bruce Broussard, Humana’s CEO. (You can read more about Broussard’s consumer-centric approach discussed at HIMSS 2015 here in Health Populi).

Thus began the reinvention of Humana from V 1.0 as a “health insurance company” evolving to its vision as technology-informed health care.

As Heather said in this week’s CES Tech Talk podcast, “Look at the organization like a health-tech start-up.”

That’s the context for Humana’s joining CTA.

“Our mission is to take the health of our members at center of everything we do…Tech is key to unlocking health…It’s a good match for us to be with the CTA. Companies in the membership are good to be colleagues with,” Heather explained on the podcast.

“People think of Humana as insurance company but we feel we’re more about integrated health care…(We’re) trying to make the pivot as a health partner, a tech company delivering health care. Insurance is the financing vehicle, but we want to be a partner in aging and longevity and helping people live better lives,” Heather envisioned. Given her explicit role in data analytics, she noted Humana’s commitment to, “How to find insights to help you dance at your granddaughter’s wedding” and to “show up at the baseball game next spring.”

Humana launched Studio H last year as part of the brand, a stake in ground for the re-imagined Humana-as-tech-company. Locating Studio H in Boston’s Seaport neighborhood was a deliberate choice, Heather noted, to be part the city’s nature as a major health/care and technology hub in the U.S.

By 2025, Heather told CES Tech Talk, the audacious goal would be to see members’ health driven by a personal longitudinal record with “all kinds of data — clinical, member, interaction data, image, voice,” information that would drive personalized interactions for consumers, their clinicians, care teams, and caregivers.

Health Populi’s Hot Points:  Humana’s joining CTA, and launching Studio H, represent the company’s taking its place in the growing health data ecosystem, and my own paradigm for retail health and self-care. The more patients-as-payors-and-consumers can be informed and armed with actionable information, tools, products and services that we can take “home” and of which we can take advantage, the more we can move the needle on our individual health, the health of our loved ones, and our communities’.

Like Humana, my organization is also a member of CTA, and in January 2020 I’ll attend my ninth CES-in-a-row. This is indeed a go-to event, and a collaborator for health — not just “digital health” in those designated physical aisles on the exhibition floor, but for health/care, everywhere — via TVs, connected cars, kitchen appliances, and other wares exhibited at CES.

My recent post on Whirlpool, with whom I’ve met at CES for the past few years, is an example of a “non-healthcare” company providing health and wellness platforms for cooking, cleaning, and living well in our homes as health and wellness hubs.

The growth of the internet-of-things for health, now converging with the likes of Humana — the first “health insurance” company to join the CTA — is proof positive we’re moving in the direction of Heather’s and Humana’s audacious goal: to help heal healthcare through the judicious use of enchantingly-designed products and services that bolster health, as broadly defined by consumers themselves.