Health and wellbeing in the digital world: helping employers to support their staff

With the rapid growth in digital healthcare products, employers are being inundated with information on the latest innovations within the healthcare and wellbeing environment. The number of dedicated apps is continually growing and each new launch seems to feature fresh ‘must have’ functionality.

The challenge in this exciting area of healthcare is to ensure that the quality of the products on offer keeps pace with the rate of innovation. However we choose to deliver assistance on health and wellbeing, it needs to be built around individual need, not technology for technology’s sake. Given that generic health and wellbeing apps are largely unregulated, employers need to know that the services available to employees are properly scrutinised, that the benefits of digital healthcare are clear to the end user, and that controls are in place to protect their personal data.

Making healthcare technology work for the individual: three priorities

1. Awareness – enabling users to identify the most effective health apps for their condition or clinical needs.

2. Accessibility – providing users with easy access to a suite of health apps which have undergone a thorough quality evaluation process.

3. Trust – ensuring users understand how their health data will be used and protected when interacting with health apps.

Prescribing health apps should be like prescribing medications – specific to the individual’s needs

In order to help employers and their staff to navigate the thousands of apps on offer, Aviva has developed a quality framework to select and govern its app providers. The result is that our users can be confident that the apps we recommend could make a real difference to their health and wellbeing.

Our quality framework has been developed by a team of in-house clinical experts and is continually evolving to keep pace with this rapidly growing area of healthcare.

Putting the emphasis on prevention

The crucial point is that, with the Aviva Wellbeing platform, your employees will have access to a broad range of valuable wellbeing information and digital healthcare providers. A holistic and preventative approach is at the heart of Aviva’s services, an approach which protects the productivity of the workforce as well as the individual wellbeing of the people within it.  

Fitness, mindfulness, healthy eating and access to medical care all play their parts in this – but we don’t prioritise one of these factors above the others. The result is a raft of complementary digital solutions – including direct access to our Digital GP service.

The importance of trust

A customer-centric approach to health and wellbeing provision will go a long way towards earning the trust of the users who benefit from it. And this trust, in turn, enables an employer to create more value for its employees. Above all, the intelligent use of data is central to successful relationships.

Take the case of digital wearables. Employees are increasingly keen on them, but are invariably reluctant to share the data that these devices collect – data which can be used to refine and target services, help tackle illness before it becomes chronic and ultimately reduce premiums.

To build and maintain custom, providers need to be known for more than the quality of the care they offer – they must also evidence the responsible use of customer data. And in this regard, Aviva has developed its own strict charter on data ethics to better protect our customers.

My view of the way ahead

Looking to the future, I expect to see an explosion in apps which are medical devices in their own right, rather than generic information platforms. This category of ‘digiceutical’ apps, more relevant to the management of long-term conditions, is heavily regulated. Aviva’s clinical team will embrace this regulatory landscape and continue to select providers who can most benefit employers and their scheme members, based on strict quality criteria and in-depth understanding of our customers’ needs.

To find out more about Aviva’s approach, please speak to your healthcare intermediary.

This is a sponsored article from Aviva.

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