In an age when most adults spend the majority of their time laboring at a desk, we’re sadly not spending enough time considering the impact modern work has on our well-being.
The health of the average employee is at risk because of poor eating habits, sedentary lifestyles and the detrimental environments they often function in. One recent report by Deloitte put it this way: “We are in the midst of a shift where doing things faster and cheaper won’t suffice. Companies will capture financial value through differentiation and deeper relationships, continuously learning how to better address a diverse and growing employee base. This has huge implications for workforce performance and development.”
At Arkenea, we develop custom software solutions in the form of web and mobile applications that help healthcare companies identify customer pain points and deliver solutions tailored to their specific needs. We have far-reaching, proven industry experience from more than a decade in business, and we’ve delivered software solutions to established industry leaders like TeleMed Home, Feelya and Welgo, among others.
Throughout my experience as the president and co-founder of Arkenea, I’ve observed firsthand how many companies are interested in improving employee retention and profitability are now placing a lot of emphasis on workplace wellness — because happy and satisfied employees are the key to a smooth-functioning organization.
Below, I’ll share a few ways corporations can leverage healthcare technology solutions to do just this.
Telehealth for Enhanced Access to Care
When an employer offers telehealth services, their employees have around-the-clock access to every little detail needed to stay informed about their health. By providing these offerings, you’re not only communicating that you’re invested in innovation — but that you’re invested in supporting the holistic well-being of your employees too.
Telehealth can work in perfect harmony with a workplace health center in order to reduce threats arising due to poor health among your employees and can serve as a meaningful first step toward improving the quality of their lives.
For employees with chronic illnesses that require continual monitoring (such as diabetes), telehealth can offer access to all the tools they need to manage their condition themselves — with the goal of helping them counter larger health issues even before they occur.
Virtual health services may include anything from one-on-one medical care to information services and from patient education to individualized self-care advice. Employees can use an online portal to connect with their physician via chat or video, view their medical records, submit test results and food logs or even request prescription refills.
Thanks to these features, employers can now become active partners in helping their employees achieve greater health — which in turn promotes happier work environments.
mHealth Apps for Physical and Mental Well-Being
One survey conducted by Texas-based Research Now Group among end users of mobile health (mHealth) apps found that approximately 96 percent users believe these apps help improve their quality of life, while 72 percent of healthcare professionals say these apps effectively motivate patients to observe their well-being in a more responsible manner.
The mHealth app market has seen rapid growth in recent years. There truly is an mHealth app for everything today, from food diaries to fitness trackers and simple pedometers to apps that help employees track their heart rates and breathing patterns.
Efficiently transferring information is another crucial benefit of mHealth apps, and there are plenty of such apps that let users share health information directly with physicians. There have been numerous examples of corporate giants incorporating these types of mobile apps into their workplace wellness program regimens in the past: Apple, Google and Starbucks to name a few. However, it is important to remember that mHealth apps aren’t only for established industry leaders that have deep pockets.
With this in mind, here’s a look at one mHealth case study (from the myriad solutions available today), with a potential use for employee wellness. Wellable sends notifications to employees’ phones throughout the work day to motivate them to take mini-breaks of sorts in the form of a few minute-long fitness sessions that can be practiced on the spot. App users can choose from a selection of different exercises to perform on a rotating daily cycle throughout the week and also track their meals.
Employees can also set goals and compete with each-other to achieve their fitness endeavors with the help of custom insights and personalized dashboards that the app instantly furnishes.
The company’s founders emphasize that its ultimate aim is to help lower the risk of common non-communicable diseases such as cancer, heart disease, obesity, kidney disease, and diabetes by including frequent activity in employee workflows each day.
Wearable Devices for Monitoring Vitals
Wearable devices have become one of the most rapidly growing healthcare technology solutions that can help employees balance out work and life, and stay productive throughout their work day. Wearable tech can be a highly instrumental tool for employers to develop a healthier and employee-centric lifestyle at work, especially devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, wearable glasses and sport watches.
Healthy employees are at the very core of any progressive organization. Investing in physical activity in the workplace can inspire better morale, mitigate lethargy and reduce accidents.
Absence due to illness costs businesses billions of dollars each year. Placing employee well-being at the heart of a company — by encouraging physical activity and relaxation — can help lessen absenteeism. Employers who take the initiative to offer programs that support this will see highly beneficial results.
Wearable devices are an excellent way to get healthier with colleagues while also promoting a little bit of healthy competition. By syncing fitness devices together, employees can join challenges and encourage each other along the way, helping make fitness fun. It can make for a more inclusive workplace and get staff from different departments talking by giving them some common ground.
Wearable technology can also help address safety issues in the workplace such as stress monitoring and fatigue by giving your employees the power to keep track of their own health and well-being. Viewing real-life data will give employees the opportunity to tackle any issues they may be facing head on.
We know that the majority of diseases and conditions that are driving up healthcare costs to unsustainable levels are the ones that arise owing to poor lifestyle habits. Therefore, the only solution to take care of your employees is to support them with resources that will empower them to self-assess and develop healthier habits over time.