By Ellen Nason
The physical workspace of Humana’s new Digital Experience Center may be unique for the company, with features more likely to be seen in a Silicon Valley office than one in Louisville, Kentucky, but the work being done in it fits perfectly with Humana’s goal of making it easier for the people living in the communities we serve to achieve their best health.
The purpose of this innovative digital software accelerator is to create and update Humana’s digital products quickly and simply while working collaboratively with the consumers who will be using them.
“It’s an exciting day,” Humana President and CEO Bruce Broussard said Thursday at an event to mark the official opening of the Louisville center.
Broussard noted that it is more important than ever for the company to collaborate with its customers given the ever-changing complexities in health care. He pointed out that one of the most important factors in the innovative approach of the Digital Experience Center is the fact that Humana is “wrapping the customer around the product” by getting instant feedback from them. Consumers are brought in weekly to test and review the products being developed or updated, making them a part of the team.
“To be successful, we have to be agile,” he said. “Collaboration is part of being agile.”
One element of Humana’s new approach to product development is creating a more collaborative and empowered process for its employees as well as the consumer. The digital product designers, developers and managers work in pairs, side-by-side — sharing two keyboards for a single computer. The teams are working exclusively on digital products and with increased focus because they are limiting the daily disruptions created by the meetings, email and phone calls found in a traditional office setting. The physical setup is also a departure from the past, with workers having the option of using stand-up desks or recharging mentally and physically at the two ping pong tables in the office.
The first product released from the Digital Experience Center is the HumanaVitality mobile application, which enables users to create and measure specific, personal wellness goals (get active, eat better, lose weight or reduce stress). Humana recently announced full integration with Apple’s HealthKit for the HumanaVitality app.
The team at the Digital Experience Center is currently working on another mobile app for Humana members.