Bringing Digital Health Coaching to 500 Million People

Cigna wanted to develop an artificial intelligence "health coach" addition to Samsung's S Health App which is installed on 500 Million mobile devices worldwide. The health coach would provide health advice, motivation, and feedback to its members via the app.

  • Typical health assessment completion rate: 30%
  • S Health assessment completion rate: 90%
  • S Health app is installed on over 500 million mobile devices worldwide

Good Health Begins With Good Behaviors

Good health begins with healthy behaviors. That’s why Samsung enlisted help from insurance company Cigna, who encourages its members to use the mobile company’s S Health App, which is pre-installed on all Samsung Galaxy and Galaxy Note devices. The app helps people track diet, exercise, and weight. Cigna wanted to add a new component to provide health advice, motivation, and feedback to its members. Mad*Pow worked with Cigna to test a number of concepts and conduct international research to develop an artificial intelligence “health coach” addition to the app.

It’s (Not Such) a Small World

Our challenge was to find common ground for the 21 percent of global smartphone users with Galaxy devices, despite feedback that varied greatly by geography. 

Cigna wanted users worldwide to understand and take advantage of the app’s health behavior features, so we tested both desirability and usability of the digital health coach concept — as well as other concepts — across five countries:

  • United States
  • Chile
  • China
  • Germany
  • South Korea

With the concepts in hand, the challenge was determining whether one concept played better globally than another. Starting nationally, Mad*Pow conducted both quantitative and qualitative research. Following this, we leveraged our international partners through our membership in the International User Experience Partners (IUXP) organization. By utilizing our partners’ expertise and native language skills, we led and completed successful user research in only five weeks.

S Health Health Changes Chart
M*P: types of healthy changes research results

Big Thinking with a Human Touch

While the project had multiple urgent deadlines and pivot points, the 18-month engagement allowed Mad*Pow to create a number of different options, ranging from playful games to data-heavy applications. The final digital health coach uses algorithms to mimic real-world interactions. It collects data from the Samsung sensors to set goals, provide feedback, and offer encouragement — just like a human coach.

Keep Your Team Close and Your Client Even Closer

Mad*Pow worked closely with the Cigna product team and Samsung developers to understand the client’s clinical and marketing requirements. We worked onsite at Cigna for a month to narrow in on the final design and document requirements for Samsung’s developers. This close working relationship allowed Mad*Pow to turn around changes quickly through collaboration and seamless communication.

S Health Healthy Workshop Sketch
M*P: concept sketches from client design workshops

Digital Coach Keeps Patients Worldwide Practicing Good Health

At the end of the project, Mad*Pow delivered a robust user interface for the digital coach, along with a playbook that addressed daily user engagement so Cigna could help its members achieve their wellness goals. The new behavior change strategy helped Cigna’s medical team develop geographic-appropriate content and logic to power the digital coach AI. 

The new app starts with a gamified health assessment -- or health survey -- that customers engage with as they enroll in their health plan. By gamifying this process, completion rates have soared. For a typical health assessment, completion rates are in the 30 percent range, Cigna's gamified version delivers completion rates of 90 percent.

S Health Workflows Application Map
M*P: workflows and application maps

Feedback for the mobile app in the AppStore has been positive, with reviews including "I love how motivating this app is", "Overall keeps me 110 percent more focused of the items that matter and material that's most precious", and "It helps me … I learn."

S Health Mobile Screens
M*P: final screen designs

"I love how motivating this app is. It keeps me 110 percent more focused on the items that matter and material that's most precious, and it helps me … I learn."​​​​

Appstore Review