Healthcare Technology Featured Article

May 12, 2017

Digital Health Tech Can Benefit Employees and Employers

Technology is quickly becoming advanced to the point that it’s affecting many industries, not just the tech world. One of these technologies is digital health tech, and it’s had a major impact on employers and employees in the healthcare industry. It affects them in a good way, of course.

Digital health technology can be any device that lets you to review your health data in digital format. It can be a smartwatch, a smartphone, a pedometer, a cloud-based platform, in-home devices and more. A jogger glancing at the information on his wide-screen watch is most likely using digital health technology.

These devices vary in function but they all share the same goal of giving you an overview of your health whether it’s your blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar, temperature, breathing, steps, sleeping patterns, and more. These are some of the basic information provided by existing devices. However, there are also more sophisticated tools that can harness details such as posture, glucose levels, breast tissue rhythm, diet, exposure to ultra-violet rays, and more.

Because of these developments, it has become easier for the healthcare industry to integrate digital health technology into their wellness programs. The wearable devices are definitely a good first step to achieving this but what matters more is employee willingness. In a study conducted by Pew Research Center, they found that 70 percent of people are willing to use a wearable device to track their health. Another survey conducted by WELCOA found that 70 percent of employees are willing to wear a fitness tracker so long as it is provided to them by their companies.

Further proving the importance of wearable devices is the finding that 80 percent of employees become physically active when they are wearing digital health technology. However, there are other respondents who are not so open to discussing their health information unless it’s with a doctor, physician, or anyone who has their ACLS renewal online. These concerns are valid but they are trumped by the benefits that employers can provide to employees when they are able to address their health concerns immediately.

Employees are let in on their employees’ health, allowing them to spot and address developing conditions right away. The earlier problems are diagnosed the better, since that means fewer healthcare costs. A more advanced condition usually requires sophisticated treatments which tend to be very expensive. Not only does digital health technology help mitigate the costs of healthcare, but it also gives employees a peace of mind, which in turn enhances their productivity in the workplace.

With the help of digital health technologies, employers can encourage healthy work behaviors, prevent conditions from getting worse, and improve employees’ overall health and wellness. Companies who have already adapted this strategy into their wellness initiatives have created forums and communities where employees can engage with the right stakeholders, such as professionals who have certification for medical transcription, and share their stories with fellow employees who share the same condition as them.

This empowers employees to be accountable for their health, making them more engaged with the wellness initiatives provided by the company. Again, this is a win-win for both employee and employer. The employer enjoys fewer healthcare costs and more productivity. Meanwhile, employees enjoy better health, which not only positively affects their work lives, but also their personal lives.

People generally understand the importance of their health, but sometimes they tend to forget that no one else will be accountable for it except for them. So, unhealthy behaviors such as a poor diet and lack of exercise slowly become the norm until a health scare comes in, prompting them to make health resolutions.

Don’t wait for it to be too late. With digital health technologies becoming increasingly available, employees must take advantage of them if they’re being offered by their employers. This lets employees see an overview of their health on a daily basis, even as they are plugging away at work. 

Edited by Alicia Young
By Special Guest
Rick Delgado, Community Contributor ,

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