Corporate wellness solutions, particularly those delivered via a digital health solution, positively impact population health.
However, simply announcing that you are adding a new benefit may not be enough to get your employee population to engage.
Corporate wellness solutions are most effective when coupled with additional activities including:
- Preventative screening to identify health risks
- Behavioral change support mitigating risk factors
- Ongoing communication, activities, support
- Organizational culture shifts to support holistic employee health
Some corporate wellness initiatives only focus on one area of health, for instance, physical fitness, which is a great place to start.
Offering a singular platform or point solution can still have a positive impact on your population’s health. It is better that you provide health and wellbeing support to your workforce than not; start wherever and however you can.
If you are looking to do more or want to discover what’s next, read on.
The impact of a digital health solution on employee health
To reduce healthcare costs, decrease spending on chronic condition treatment, reduce reliance on multiple medications, cut down on the number of sick days, address presenteeism due to illness, mitigate expensive crisis responses, and so much more – digital health solutions offer an effective approach to improving employee health.
And digital health solutions work.
UnitedHealth Group launched a digital health program for patients with Type 2 diabetes which combined wearables with coaching. Initial pilot studies, spanning multiple years of review, found that there was a meaningful reduction in A1C levels within three months of the program.
In 2017, a controlled clinical trial was run with overweight and obese adults that looked at the effectiveness of using an application for weight loss. The app used an intervention approach, a human coaching element, and asked participants to log meals and exercise. They found clinically significant weight loss (effect of -7.5%) at the end of the program with decreased glucose levels and body fat percentages.
Another study, out of Stanford, found that digital self-management programs for diabetes helped participants reduce blood sugar levels and address depression.
Digital health solutions that focus on more than one area of wellbeing allow employers and employees to benefit from holistic support. After all, physical health impacts mental health which can impact financial health which can impact emotional wellness.
Digital health tools that address physical, mental, emotional, financial, and medical wellness – all in one platform – can even more effectively impact population health. It reduces a key barrier to addressing conditions by improving ease of access and providing an inclusive option that your entire workforce can find useful.
To address the most common chronic conditions found on claims reports, year over year, employers need to reach their at-risk population and provide comprehensive chronic care management solutions.
Digital health tools provide a cost-effective way to not only provide access to a diverse range of programming but also data and analytics to show impact. Your population's health will improve as you focus on reducing risk, offering the support they will actually use, and celebrating the efforts of your employees diligently focusing on their wellbeing.
There are plenty of corporate wellness solutions out there, to be sure, but when you are looking to really impact health, consider a digital health solution.
7 questions to ask a digital health solution
When considering a digital health solution to address population health concerns, start by asking these questions:
- Can my entire workforce (inclusive of all abilities, age, races, location, fitness level, and chronic condition) find support in this solution?
- Does this solution impact the biggest healthcare claims I see, year over year?
- Can this solution positively impact our culture and celebrate progress towards healthier lives?
- Are there events, challenges, and activities sponsored by this solution that will engage my at-risk population?
- Does this solution align with my business and DEI goals?
- What tracking and data is available so we can monitor engagement?
- Can this solution help my teams thrive and reach their potential?
Ready to support employee health?
We’ve done a deep dive into how to improve population health with a digital health solution. Within, we provide data and insights into studies that look at the most common conditions, how to reach at-risk populations, and key next steps for employers looking to take action on their claims data.
If you are ready to dive in, let’s grab a few minutes to chat in the next few days.