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HealthMedia and Aetna to Study Online Insomnia and Depression Interventions
Date:6/19/2008

quarter of 2008, the pilot programs will be studied in a controlled trial that will examine three important areas. First, the trial will study the value of intelligent recruitment, by using highly-tailored communications to recruit participants into the two programs. In addition, these highly-tailored communications will continue throughout the interventions to help motivate members' ongoing participation.

"One of the key differentiators in successful wellness, disease management, and behavioral health programs is the ability to connect with users meaningfully to encourage continued positive change," said Ted Dacko, HealthMedia President and CEO. "Participation is among our top project priorities because no matter how well an intervention works, if we can't draw the participants, we won't ultimately be successful."

Second, the trial will study the impact of the two programs on costs and effectiveness, compared to current treatments. The depression program will study the impact of Web-based services on treatment outcomes. The insomnia program will study the impact on prescription medication utilization. According to one study, Americans filled more than 35 million prescriptions for sleeping pills in 2004, spending $2.1 billion. Studies predict these costs to double by the end of the decade. Golinkoff confirmed that Aetna's prescription insomnia medication costs have been steadily increasing as well, and is looking to the HealthMedia program to see if a Web-based based, cognitive behavior change program can decrease member reliance on sleep medications.

Beyond the costs, medications are not a long-term solution for insomniacs. The National Institutes of Health, the New England Journal of Medicine and other prominent medical organizations recommend behavioral therapy as the best and most effective treatment for insomnia.

Finally, the trial will study the general value of utilizing Web-based behavior change programs to treat both insomnia an
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