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Humana Launches Initiative to Reach Consumers Through Games


Friday, September 7, 2007 12:00 pm EDT



Public Company Information:


LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) announced today its quest to impact consumer behavior through a new medium: Games for Health. The new initiative has the potential to revolutionize the way Humana engages consumers by providing them guidance and motivation in a way that is interesting and exciting.

Giving healthcare consumers the ability to become more closely connected with the management of their health through video games is a unique way in which to accomplish Humanas goal of helping members become both mentally and physically healthy, said Grant Harrison, vice-president of Humanas Integrated Consumer Experience.

A team has been established within Humanas Innovation Center to find the best ways to connect with consumers using game technology. In collaboration with Serious Games pioneer Digitalmill Inc., Humana is evaluating all aspects of the games for health space. Humana is also sponsoring students from the University of Southern Californias GamePipe Laboratory for advanced research and development of new game interfaces in an effort to tie real world exercise to virtual worlds.

Additionally, Humana is working with Touchtown Inc. to develop a new service to transform the way wellness and fitness programs are delivered in senior facilities. This new service will use state-of-the-art gaming technology to improve the coordination, endurance and physical health of older adults. A similar approach is planned to address obesity in children through entertaining exercise technologies.

We know that electronic games are here to stay, said Harrison. When you think of video games, you typically think of couch potatoes sitting in front of the TV, playing for hours. We dont see the future that way. We see health games changing behaviors, basically the way families learn and engage in physical activity to improve their health.

In order to better understand the influence of game technology on consumers, Humana is working with Ben Sawyer, co-founder of the Games for Health Project and J.C. Herz, an expert in social networking and multiplayer online worlds, to address the opportunities to close the gap between electronic games and health. One of our goals with the Games for Health Project was to see key health industry organizations, such as Humana, join the community and make their considerable knowledge, leadership, and partnering resources available, said Ben Sawyer. More importantly, Humana has expressed its dedication to understanding the industry and getting it done.

Humana believes it can transform the game medium into a healthy part of consumers every-day life. Right now, there are few impactful games directed towards consumer health, remarked Dr. Miguel Encarnação, Humanas Innovation Center Director of Advanced Human-Media Interfaces. Our research will help us identify and develop game-based projects that will improve consumers health and captivate their imaginations.

Humanas video gaming activities began this month with more developments planned throughout 2008.

About Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the nations largest publicly traded health benefits companies, with approximately 11.3 million medical members. Humana offers a diversified portfolio of health insurance products and related services - through traditional and consumer-choice plans - to employer groups, government-sponsored plans, and individuals.

Over its 46-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 companys web site at http://www.humana.com, including copies of:

  • Annual reports to stockholders;
  • Securities and Exchange Commission filings;
  • Most recent investor conference presentations;
  • Quarterly earnings news releases;
  • Replays of most recent earnings release conference calls;
  • Calendar of events (includes upcoming earnings conference call dates and times, as well as planned interaction with research analysts and institutional investors);
  • Corporate Governance Information.

About Digitalmill, Inc. (www.dmill.com)

Founded in 1997, Digitalmill, Inc. is a Portland, ME based firm specializing in interactive gaming projects, issues and related technologies. Digitalmill is a co-founder of The Serious Games Initiative (www.seriousgames.org), and the Games for Health Project (www.gamesforhealth.org). The firm has created over a dozen serious game projects for various corporate, governmental, and non-governmental organizations. The Serious Games Initiative grew out of work Digitalmill provided to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for Virtual U (www.virtual-u.org), a game-based simulation of university management.

About Touchtown Inc. (www.touchtown.tv)

Touchtown Inc. (www.touchtown.tv) is the retirement industrys leading provider of products to improve the quality of life for older adults and their families. The companys products are used by over 75,000 residents in 250 retirement communities worldwide. Touchtowns flagship product, TV+, is the industry's most widely used service for creating in-house television channels and delivering them to resident rooms, in lobbies and common areas, and on the web. Touchtown also provides the industrys most widely used senior-friendly email and resident web portals. The companys products strengthen communities, supercharge marketing, and delight residents and families.

About USC GamePipe Laboratory (gamepipe.usc.edu)

The University of Southern California (USC) GamePipe Laboratorys mission is research, development and education on technologies and design for the future of interactive games and their application - from developing the supporting technologies for increasing the complexity and innovation in produced games, to developing serious and entertainment games for government and corporate sponsors. GamePipe has developed two degree programs to support this research and development agenda a BS in Computer Science specializing in Games, and an MS in Computer Science specializing in Game Development. Embedded in the degree programs is the full game development process, from game design to game engineering, while cross-disciplinary final-year team projects ensure that games built in the GamePipe Laboratory have the proper mix of skills for game-industry quality development.


Humana Corporate Communications
Jim Turner, 502-476-2119