Supported by Humana, college students apply classroom learning to improve kids’ health and well-being
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Trainer, an online game that challenges kids to become more physically active, has won first place in the Games category of the “Apps for Healthy Kids” competition, as well as a GE Healthymagination Award. A group of students from the University of Southern California (USC) developed Trainer with funding from Humana’s Innovation Center.
Over the past three years, the Humana Innovation Center has supported multiple research universities to help them develop effective approaches to consumer-centered health and well-being. Humana (NYSE: HUM) works closely with the universities to encourage innovation and dialogue around creative health solutions. USC is one example where Humana has collaborated with multiple departments and students to spur innovation in the areas of health games, health robotics and health-technology literacy.
“Collaboration and mutual learning between academic science and business research and development is at the heart of this innovation,” said Miguel Encarnação, Ph.D., Humana’s director of emerging technology innovation.
“At Humana, we like working with students who can bring fresh new ideas that use gaming and entertainment as change agents for consumers’ health,” said Paul Puopolo, director of Humana’s Health Entertainment team.
In addition to its work with USC, the Humana Innovation Center sponsors research, development and innovation activities at other universities, including the GVU Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the MIT Media Lab and Stanford University. Sponsored research ranges from advanced biometric data analytics and persuasive technologies, to technologies supporting proactive self-management, health-technology literacy, and “aging in place.” Students at each academic institution are applying what they learn in class to bring innovation to health care, and inspiring Humana’s Innovation Center with personal passions and unconventional approaches.
“For me, it’s cool to see classroom experiences make real-world changes,” said David Villatoro, a USC participant in the Apps for Healthy Kids competition. “Kids love playing games and Trainer shows that being active and healthy is also fun and exciting.”
Humana’s Innovation Center also sponsors its own health-game idea competitions; most recently the InsertCoin competition awarded a total of $10,000 to the top three finishers. Humana further encourages student participation through a variety of internship programs designed to provide students with real-world experiences to hone their skills on problems that have important, consumer-health-related applications.
About Humana Health Entertainment
Humana believes that entertaining interventions can be created to impact a person’s entire well-being, including combating obesity, encouraging effective disease-management, providing engaging physical therapy and battling age-related physical and mental decline. The primary focus of the company’s Health Entertainment approach to well-being is to use video games and video-game technology to craft these experiences. The Health Entertainment team is also exploring how to expand beyond gameplay and create fun and healthy entertainment that both captivates audiences and generates health outcomes resulting in a healthier world.
About the “Apps for Healthy Kids” competition
The Apps for Healthy Kids competition was sponsored and administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. Funding for the GE Healthymagination Student Awards was provided by General Electric.
The USDA is an active member of the Let’s Move! team, alongside the Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For more information on the Let’s Move! initiative visit http://www.letsmove.gov/. The Apps for Healthy Kids competition is a collaborative initiative of the White House Office of the First Lady, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.
Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the nation’s largest publicly traded health and supplemental benefits companies, with approximately 10.1 million medical members and 7.0 million specialty members. Humana is a full-service benefits solutions company, offering a wide array of health, pharmacy and supplemental benefit plans for employer groups, government programs and individuals.
Over its 49-year history, Humana has consistently seized opportunities to meet changing customer needs. Today, the company is a leader in consumer engagement, providing guidance that leads to lower costs and a better health plan experience throughout its diversified customer portfolio.
More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s web site at www.humana.com, including copies of: