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29 Mar 2023
by Leo Savage

How digital healthcare benefits can boost employee productivity

More and more employers are using apps and digital healthcare solutions to support the health of their workers

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More than three-quarters of UK adults have concerns about their health, according to a recent Bupa report, with weight and mental health the main areas of concern.

The report revealed inadequate physical activity, back problems and unhealthy diet were also significant worries. Furthermore, managing blood pressure and health conditions like diabetes were key concerns.

The Covid-19 pandemic has heightened the need for employers to prioritise the health and wellbeing of workers. As a result, there is a growing expectation that employers should play an active role in promoting the physical and mental health of employees.

Employers are introducing digital healthcare solutions to support their workforce, encourage healthy habits and improve performance as part of their wellbeing programmes.

Focus on mental wellbeing

In recent years, a focus on mental wellbeing has gained traction on the corporate wellbeing agenda, primarily due to the effect of lockdowns and remote working. This has also brought to the forefront the importance of physical wellbeing.

Employees are struggling with issues such as inadequately designed workspaces, limited opportunities for exercise and poor sleep. Employers must address these challenges to ensure their employees can maintain good physical health, which will ultimately improve their overall productivity and wellbeing.

Since the pandemic, digital healthcare solutions have risen in popularity, enabling employers to provide remote support to employees irrespective of location. Employers have quickly adopted innovations such as virtual GPs, mobile apps to support mental and physical health, wearable devices and diagnostic tools, recognising their potential to improve employee wellbeing and enhance productivity.

As a result, the use of digital healthcare solutions is rising and is expected to continue to grow.

Prevention better than cure

A wealth of digital tools and apps are available to support employee wellbeing, ranging from fitness and mental wellbeing apps to tools for tracking health indicators. Employers can integrate these tools into wellbeing programmes to make a meaningful impact on employee health and create a positive and productive work environment.

Recent research has shown that a large majority of consumers across different countries plan to use apps with smartphones or wearables to improve their health and wellbeing in 2023. Younger generations, in particular, are more likely to use health and wellness apps, with the top three uses being connecting with friends and family, working out and improving sleep.

Organisations must recognise that digital healthcare requires a tailored approach. Individual solutions must be part of a well-considered wellbeing strategy that considers the unique needs and preferences of employees or clients. By doing so, businesses can better support individuals in achieving health and wellness goals.

Tailored approach to digital health

Employers have an overwhelming number of options available when it comes to selecting good digital solutions to wellbeing challenges. An app may seem like a quick fix, but considering how it fits into their overall employee strategy can help employers select the appropriate solution. Understanding employees and their priorities and challenges, especially regarding hybrid working, is vital.

Working with a wellbeing consultant can simplify this process by balancing the needs of the business, its employees and budget.

Digital healthcare is undoubtedly the future of wellbeing, with more companies adopting technological solutions to support both physical and mental wellbeing, driving positive lifestyle behaviours and providing quicker access to medical help. This can result in a happier, healthier, and more productive workforce.

In partnership with Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing

Howden provides insurance broking, risk management and claims consulting services, globally. We work with clients of all sizes to provide dedicated employee benefits & wellbeing consultancy.

Contact us today