There is no doubt that we are a technology driven society, nor is there any argument that society is in desperate need of proactive health improvement intervention as disease states and cost of care continue to rise.
Fortunately, recent advancements in technology have provided a new means of capturing and delivering meaningful and actionable data that can be used to positively impact population health. Many employer groups and wellness companies are fueling the success of their holistic health improvement and incentive programs by leveraging mobile health devices and applications.
We know the mobile health landscape is changing rapidly. In fact, recent findings from a PEW research study tell us that 87% of U.S. adults use the Internet and 58% own a smart phone. Of those Internet users, 72% look online for health information and 7 out of 10 indicate they track their health in some way while 60% say they track their weight, diet or exercise routine.
With that kind of potential it is no surprise that the mobile health and wearable market is positioned to explode. Research by ABI projects that the number of connected clinical and consumer devices in the market will grow to nearly 1 billion by as early as 2018.
With this type of growth taking shape many employer groups and wellness companies are aggressively exploring the use of technology as a means to increase engagement, improve program quality as well as program outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. In fact, a recent report by Towers Watson and the National
Business Group on Health reported that 76% of the employers surveyed are exploring the use of mobile health technology in health enhancement programs.
Historically the challenges of corporate wellness programming have been unreliable manual tracking that is predominantly self reported data and may not necessarily be accurate. Additional challenges include engaging and retaining participants to generate positive health outcomes, and providing a streamlined process for both the participant and the program administrator.
Technology is now intervening to provide a holistic solution for frictionless data exchange that enhances the end user experience and makes it significantly simpler for employer groups and wellness companies to consume this data and put it to meaningful use. Devices are increasingly more user friendly, cost effective and capture a wealth of meaningful health data points from activity levels to nutrition information, blood glucose, weight, and a variety of biometric data points such as blood pressure and oxygen saturation. This allows the participant to focus on having fun and improving their health in small steps. The benefit to the program administrator is reliable device generated data.
Validic steps in to provide a frictionless solution to our customers for accessing and consuming the wealth of mobile health data from disparate sources in a simple, clean, complete and actionable format.
This enables employer groups and wellness companies the ability to focus on building robust technology solutions executing sound scientific principles for behavior change and health improvement programming. On the front end, these innovative solutions allow a participant the ability to easily engage, ‘bring your own device’, and participate in exciting programming that leverages gamification and social influence to retain those participants and inflict meaningful lifestyle changes. On the back end, the employer group or wellness company can marry this meaningful data with powerful analytics tools to use for education, prevention, incentives, tracking, reporting and more.
Ultimately, these rich benefits blend to provide a holistic, technology driven, program that increases the health of the participant. Meanwhile, the employer group can reap the benefits of increased productivity and morale along with decreased absenteeism, attrition and healthcare costs. Some tangible evidence is visible in a recent study published by The Vitality Group, which concluded that the combination of wearables with a well-built technology driven wellness program improves health outcomes and reduces population health risk.