Blue Cross IT: Taking Health Care Tools to the Next Level


| 4 min read

The hallmark of an organization that puts its members first lies in creating technologies that help people stay connected to what’s important in life. At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, that means making sure you have all the help and information you need at your fingertips—no matter where you are or what time it is. One of the ways we do that is through the BCBSM mobile app. Creating valuable tools like the BCBSM mobile app requires bringing together lots of different technology groups within Blue Cross. Ketan Joshi, IT Director of Digital Experience, and Mike Benoit, IT Director of Digital Services and Enterprise Project Management, work on the mobile application and member portal. To this end, they work alongside the Corporate Marketing and Customer Experience business team to create and optimize the tools and resources resulting in the best possible member experience. “IT provides the underlying systems that these teams need to create solutions, like the mobile app and online member portal,” Benoit says. “We work to provide the development that helps fulfill Blue Cross’ vision.” Exceeding Member Expectations The simplicity in using the BCBSM mobile app plays a big part in helping it stand out from similar tools. “One thing we keep top of mind is that our app has to be easy to use,” Benoit says. “So functionality like the touch ID login were added, which allows members to access their member account with the touch of a fingerprint.” On top of making tools easy to use, they also need to be practical and useful. “We want our tools to become a part of our members’ lives, not just something they use when they have a doctor’s visit,” says Benoit. One way this is done is through gamification, which takes the tool beyond simply providing users’ health care information. “Our members are able to use the app to monitor their fitness goals through step tracking and even compete with others if their plan includes wellness capabilities. When combined with simplicity of use and the expanded availability of the application, this gives a member a reason to keep coming back.” This regular use doesn’t just benefit users, it also helps Blue Cross by creating well-informed members. “We’re concerned about the health of our families and we want to provide resources that will help them plan financially for health care,” says Joshi. “Our tools provide information about their coverage, where to go for treatment and even what their out-of-pocket costs will be—all with a goal to keep the member as informed as possible.” But none of this would matter if the tools weren’t secure. “Cyber security is a critical part of our technology, especially with something like our app, which is in the hands of the consumer,” Joshi says. We work side by side with our IT Security, Quality Assurance, and Production Office teams to ensure functionality and performance of our app and privacy and confidentiality of our data. “Every time we build a technology, we do extensive testing to ensure that the data and code are completely secure. This gives our members total confidence when using it.” Moving Into the Future With the continuous evolution of health care, Joshi knows the continued investment in digital resources is vital to stay current. “Companies are continuing to move forward with new technologies, so we have to be prepared to grow our resources and stay technically current so we can work in lock-step with these advancements,” Joshi says. “That’s why we keep monitoring digital trends that can translate into future service offerings for Blue Cross members.” In the end, it all comes back to making members healthier. “The secret is using technology to influence wellness,” Benoit says. “We want our community to view this app as their ‘go-to’ wellness tool to create healthy behaviors in their lives.” We partner with the IT and Business Health Care Value to provide these type of offerings. For more about on our commitment in using IT to provide our members with quality service and care, visit and these blogs:
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association