Using technology to improve personal health and well-being has become a staple in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In fact, there is no shortage of options for those looking for a way to do so – with more than 300,000 health-related apps in the Apple App Store, you can do anything from track your mileage to get meditation guidance. Figuring out how to apply these technologies to the enterprise space is a task benefits leaders have taken on to support employee wellness initiatives and ultimately lower employer medical costs. A new report from Castlight Health and Employee Benefit News takes the first step in finding out what technologies resonate best by surveying where employers are investing money in digital wellness tools compared to those that employees deem beneficial. The question is, how do benefits leaders reach the intersection of effective technology that delivers a justifiable ROI yet also increases employee satisfaction and engagement?
For this study, Castlight surveyed more than 300 benefits leaders and 1,000 employees from large companies with more than 1,000 employees. The report focused on the employers’ and employee’s perspectives of 23 digital health solutions and then highlighted the gaps. The study showed that employers are prone to invest in mature technologies with the highest installed technologies being employee assistance programs (EAPs) and smoking cessation programs. However, the most utilized were biometrics screenings, health risk assessments (HRA) and cost transparency. The most utilized tech was consistent with the employee findings that showed employees across the board were most interested in technologies to help them lose weight, but the study also notes that employees are more likely to directly access those technologies, rather than rely on their employer to provide them for free.
The report went on to state that in addition to the misalignment of employer and employee priorities, “…employers’ investment priorities do not fully align with their own perceptions of which solutions are the most cost-effective.” Interestingly, while employers continue to implement EAPs, smoking cessation and HRA technologies, the report shows the employers don’t feel they have a strong business case.
Perhaps the most notable technology is the one that fits the so-called “sweet spot” – the intersection of technologies that make a strong business case, drive employee happiness and encourage high engagement. Financial wellness is the fastest growing solution and the only one landing in the sweet spot. While not a “mature” technology, financial wellness ranks in the top three for employers in all but one category when the mature technologies are removed from consideration. In addition, employees state that they would prefer to access financial wellness solutions from employers over any other technology.
Mapping the Divide
Whenever possible, employers should prioritize solutions that have a strong business case, drive employee happiness, and sustain high engagement.
The survey is quick to point out that employers must not only take employee feedback into consideration when investing in digital health solutions, but they should also make sure their investments align with their own objectives. Employers should be mindful that while employees are open to receiving employer support, they are still willing to contribute financially to preferred technologies that will improve their well-being.
Finally, the report notes the importance of leveraging platform technology, stating, “A health navigation platform allows employers to fully harness the power of digital health. This technology simplifies vendor procurement, stitches together a variety of programs together into one seamless experience, and drives engagement through intelligent personalization.”
The BioIQ Platform provides employers with sophisticated tools for orchestrating health screening and wellness programs across multiple vendors, as well as multi-channel communication tools for engaging and motivating employees at every step of the way. BioIQ also provides a means to intervene when risks for chronic conditions are found — with a unified solution for keeping at-risk participants up-to-date with health testing, along with data analysis for managing risks and resources to help people live their healthiest lives.
To learn how your organization can implement a technology-enabled screening program and improve the health of your employees, contact BioIQ at (888) 818-1594 or email@example.com.