Smart Benefits: Mobile Apps + iPads The Key To Wellness Success

Monday, October 14, 2013

 

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Wellness and employee engagement numbers are lackluster...why?

Wellness programs are widely offered by employers—and so are incentives to participate in them. In fact, according to a 2013 survey conducted by Fidelity Investments and National Business Group on Health, 90% of employers who offer programs offer incentives. And their amounts have increased significantly: up from $260 in 2009 to $521 in 2013. 

But despite the rise in programs and incentives, employee engagement isn’t surging in step. Why? The top issue employers have with wellness programs is how to increase employee engagement—critical to long-term success. And the secret may be technology, or the lack thereof.

Keeping Track

There’s no doubt the wellness industry has matured, moving beyond disease management to an emphasis on preventive care. Today, the key to programs is behavior change, and success is measured with validated data and improved outcomes.

But while employers are focused on the numbers, employees are struggling at a much more basic level. They want to know the next steps in their program, how they can get there, and convenient ways to track their progress and incentives. And they want to leverage technology to easily access this information.  

A Better Consumer Experience Is Possible

To date, the wellness industry has used fragmented technology tools developed a decade ago, long before the emergence of smart phones and touch screen devices. But while the way consumers communicate has changed, wellness technology has not kept pace. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

 According to BioIQ, a modern wellness experience that pairs laptop technology with integrated mobile applications is key to improving the consumer experience by enabling employees to conveniently complete activities such as:

  • Input their scores (sometimes with the help of a nurse) from biometric screening health fairs into an iPad on a real-time basis

  • Access all health assessment results in one place

  • Sign up for digital health coaching through a mobile application and access coaches by phone or online

  • Receive reminders, tips and scheduling prompts from their iPads and mobile apps based on stored biometric screening data

  • Track incentives and next steps for activities

User-Friendly is Wellness-Friendly

The keys to moving wellness engagement to the next level are integrated, easy-to-use applications that create a positive experience for employees, and stay with them anywhere, any time. And the answer employers may looking for may be just the touch of a button away.

 

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Amy Gallagher has over 19 years of healthcare industry experience. As Vice President at Cornerstone Group, she advises large employers on long-term cost-containment strategies, consumer-driven solutions and results-driven wellness programs. Amy speaks regularly on a variety of healthcare-related topics, is a member of local organizations like the Rhode Island Business Group on Health, HRM-RI, SHRM, WELCOA, and the Rhode Island Business Healthcare Advisory Council, and participates in the Lieutenant Governor’s Health Benefits Exchange work group of the Health Care Reform Commission.

 
 

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