At first glance, companies investing in smart health devices for their employees sounds like an expensive venture. However, considering the trends in smart technology and how they can greatly improve healthcare, and possibly reduce healthcare costs, this might not be a bad idea after all. The trends include the use of smart watches to record everything from a person’s temperature to their heart rate and weight.
This information can be sent to a doctor’s office directly so they can monitor patients with chronic illnesses.
People can now enjoy doctor’s office visits without ever actually going to see a doctor physically. Using smart devices, they can consult with doctor’s virtually, receive their prescriptions and be on their way. For most people, these advancements make healthcare easier, more accessible and cheaper. So would it be a smart move for companies to invest in smart devices and smart health technology for their employees? In this post, we will discuss what it could mean for you to incorporate smart health technology into your employee wellness program.
Health risk assessments
If you already run health risk assessments for your employees, this could be connected to a smart device. This could increase participation and the likelihood that people actually complete their health risk assessments.
It could mean lower costs for the company
Connecting a smart device to employee health risk assessments benefits the employer in a number of ways. First of all, for employees whose health risk assessments show a tendency for certain health conditions, a smart device could be a way of incentivizing them to take action.
Sometimes, people are just not aware there is a problem until they see the bare numbers before them. And so, smart watches, for instance, can track various health metrics and help the employee take necessary actions to mitigate their health situation.
If the health tracking system is connected to a company system, the health and wellness administrator at your company can help the employee track their progress and provide preventative suggestions and referrals where necessary. Ultimately, this will lower healthcare costs for your company.
It could mean quicker care
A bulk of the healthcare costs in the US goes into managing chronic illnesses. And yet, several chronic illnesses like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease are largely preventable. Clinical studies are now looking at how using smart technology, doctors can now continually monitor their patients and administer care remotely if it becomes necessary
This quick care can and will save lives and ultimately shave millions off healthcare costs. So far, the use of smart technology in health care includes:
- Doctors administering care to cancer patients
- Diabetic patients monitoring their blood sugar throughout the day
- Delivery of insulin to diabetic patients based on monitoring blood sugar throughout the day
- People at risk monitoring their mood to help catch depression
Smart health technology is still new
Smart technology in health and wellness is still a very new area. We are years away from seeing the real impact using these technologies has on healthcare in the long-term. Nevertheless, there is exciting research that shows that there are many promising benefits.
One of the biggest concerns when it comes to using smart devices in healthcare is privacy. With so many data breaches in the banking industry for instance, people worry that their health data will fall into nefarious hands.
This is a legitimate concern and perhaps companies can have an “opt-out” option when it comes to using smart devices to help with improving employee health and wellness. Nonetheless, as an employer or wellness administrator for your company, you should be aware of these developments and see how well they can fit into your employee wellness program.