I have been following some of the mega trends that digital health is going through, and have always been fascinated by the fact that why are employers not more sensitive to the health and wellness of their employees. After all, here is a productive and highly paid work force, a resource pool of human capital, that is spending a significant part of their waking time working at their jobs - yet employers only choose to reimburse them or look after them when they fall sick! That doesn't make much sense. Why not keep them well? After all, we spend 8-10 hours a days at work, another couple commuting, for over 250 days a week across nearly 50 years of our life. This is where we need to be well, so we can actually have a life after work.
However in all fairness, this situation is changing, albeit slowly. Per CB Insights: As health insurance premiums increase, employers are looking for ways to reduce their costs. Many are expanding their employee wellness budgets and promoting preventive measures to keep their employees out of hospitals. Large companies are providing mental health coaching and fitness trackers to their employees. In addition, many wellness perks are said to trigger increases in work productivity, which is an important benefit beyond the reduced premiums. We can expect to see more companies expand their corporate wellness programs for this reason, as well as using more healthcare focused perks as a recruitment tool.
For me, amongst all the possible stakeholders of digital health and wellness, corporate investment in deploying technology to make corporate wellness programs more effective, manageable and measurable is the most promising. For two important reasons - first, they can do it and second, they have the incentive to do it.
Unlike insurance and healthcare providers who are still struggling in defining business cases, go-to-market strategies, RoIs, regulatory compliance, and so many other debilitating self inflicted challenges; employers have a relatively easy path to deployment. All they need to do is rethink their approach and put some specific, integrated and effective plans in place.