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10 Jan 2024
by Dawn Lewis

Jan Vickery of AXA Health on the evolution of digital healthcare

Digital transformation is changing healthcare. Calling on insights from REBA's recent webinar, here's what employers need to consider as this exciting area evolves

Jan Vickery of AXA Health on the evolution of digital healthcare.jpg

 

Healthcare is changing fundamentally and becoming more patient-centric, according to Jan Vickery, Wellbeing Propositions Category Lead at AXA Health.

Speaking on REBA’s How digital change will transform workforce wellbeing and engagement webinar on 27 September 2023, Vickery, talked about what this digital transformation means for workplace wellbeing.

Digital transformation is happening all around us in every aspect of our lives. The benefits and services supporting employee health and wellbeing are no exception, with innovations being made towards greater personalisation. Vickery said digitalisation is changing how healthcare is delivered.

“We’ve always had a traditional model where doctor knows best,” she said. “What this shift means is that the digital healthcare delivery is now going to be patient-centric. A patient is going to be the centre of everything that they consume, which means that we really are facing a scenario of ‘the patient will see you now’, not ‘the doctor will see you now’.”

She explained that all healthcare stakeholders – patients and doctors – will need to come along with this cultural shift and think differently about health and wellbeing.

The Covid-19 pandemic, for example, was a catalyst for greater acceptance of telemedicine services such as online GPs and counselling. Use of such services is now commonplace. 

“The other area where we are definitely seeing a very tangible change is in the benefit that digitisation can bring with care navigation,” she said. 

“If we’re going to help people to use healthcare, we need to help them to navigate how to access health and wellbeing products. So, there’s a very heavy and much needed focus on how that care navigation will work. And, of course, the solutions are all there within digital transformation.”

What employers need to think about as digital health and wellbeing evolves

1. It’s a cultural shift – this digital transformation is still evolving and the right path for each organisation may not be clear. “The number one thing is to be employee-centric and to keep tabs on what your employees are thinking and feeling,” said Vickery. Capturing health data and metrics can help employers understand their objective measures.

2. Using tech effectively – employers need to take into consideration their whole health and wellbeing ecosystem. How do employees manage multiple benefits apps? How do you communicate about these offerings? How do these elements operate together? And, also, the need to be selective when introducing new health benefits.

3. Data – and its quality – is an ongoing challenge facing most organisations. Yet, joining up silos and collecting good quality quantitative and qualitative data is essential to digital transformation.
Vickery admits that the degree of digital transformation set to take place over the next few years can feel overwhelming. However, the benefits of this transition are significant. Not just for employees who will experience a more personalised approach to healthcare, but also for employers and managers. 

During the webinar it was highlighted that if often falls on managers to communicate these changes and benefits. Yet digital transformation offers the opportunity to relieve managers of some of this responsibility through the greater use of chatbots and AI.  

“If we offer things that are employee-centric, the whole move from being paternalistic around health and wellbeing will start to shift. Employees, patients, citizens, colleagues, will be able to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, and be less reliant on other people. 

“This will be one of the positive outcomes we see over the next few years, that will be brought about by digital transformation,” she said.
 

 

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