An app from Cigna now offers biometric capabilities for signing in as well as other the ability to comparison shop and search for physicians.

The new capabilities exemplify how healthcare-related mobile apps now are advancing to meet consumers’ needs.

Cigna, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, has offered a mobile app for several years, enabling covered members to navigate through the appliance and find information that they need. However, it was time for an update in mobile technology to provide ease of use and expanded content available through the app, says Dave Vonesh, director for global digital marketing.

Now, a member’s fingerprint serves as a username and password to enable one-touch access to the app. Those who have health coverage through Cigna specifically asked for easier access and not having to remember user names and passwords to be authenticated, Vonesh adds.

With the old app, if a member wanted to compare pricing among local pharmacies, they had to enter the ID and password and navigate through a menu. Now, their finger authenticates their identity and provides access.

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The app also now features easier searching for physicians, with expanded content that essentially is a short resume that includes board certifications, whether the physician is in the Cigna network, if the physician practices evidence-based medicine, and if the physician speaks a foreign language.

There’s also a cost-efficiency rating on a one to three star scale that helps compare pricing among physicians. Those with three stars generally have lower pricing; they are more efficient in ordering generic drugs; order only necessary tests; and understand the cost fears of patients.

Other features include the ability to review account balances, find deductible expenses, manage claims and see coverage details at a glance, according to Vonesh. A drug quote tool enables the comparison of generic and brand name medications at local pharmacies.

Cigna also offers other apps including one that helps support expatriate members working outside of the United States, and a “Health Coach” app with programs to improve health status in five areas—exercise, food, sleep, stress and weight.

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