Just how pervasive is digital technology? Simply look around and you’ll see people using their phones for everything from making purchases to writing emails to tracking fitness goals in a health care app. According to Pew Research, 77 percent of Americans now own a smartphone, and more than 90 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds have one. The technology is here, in other words, and it’s here to stay.
As an employer, it only makes sense to take advantage of this trend. The key to engaging employees in their health care is quite literally in the palm of your hand — and in all of your employees’ hands, too. Health care apps for patients can make accessing and understanding health care simpler. Here’s how.
Digital Platforms Allow for Personalization
Health care is as personal as it is universal — everyone faces health care challenges, but everyone needs different solutions. A well-chosen app can allow providers to proactively send employees information that’s relevant and timely to them. Digital platforms can also offer employees a seamless connection to parts of their health care they might usually consider to be separate from their actual health, such as insurance claims.
Look for a platform that’s more than a one-trick pony, and don’t be afraid to be picky — whichever health care app you choose should be able to offer tips to keep employees healthy, assist them with finding care when necessary and help them manage any conditions they may have.
Health Care Apps Empower Users
Health care apps can help employees set goals and empower them to follow through and achieve them. No one stays healthy without motivation, after all, and many people need to get that motivation from outside sources. In addition to on-site programs and wellness opportunities, a digitally engaging health care app that helps employees stay motivated can be a valuable tool. Many apps offer the chance to earn rewards for active participation. They use that data to collect user preferences and activity information, which helps them understand what types of well-being programs are relevant before suggesting programs to employees.
Unlike a personal trainer or dietitian, though, health apps don’t judge. Employees who are looking for motivation but don’t want to admit their bad habits to another person can find reassurance in a digital interface.
At the same time, successfully managing a health condition is often dependent on personal accountability. If an employee doesn’t have access to digital resources, it requires considerable time and effort to sort through all the various — and sometimes confusing — options. Using claim data and health information, a health care app can understand and assess the care needs of each individual user as well as the programs that might be relevant to them.
Digital Engagement Can Drive Savings
Without a digital platform for health care or access to immediate advice, many employees may search for care in other places. Some might go to the emergency room, even if that level of care isn’t necessary. For more general questions, they might turn to unreliable or outdated sources on the internet — and if they haven’t developed strong health literacy skills, the information they find could do more harm than good. Besides being potentially dangerous for your employees, both of these options can end up costing more money, whether in hospital bills or because of health issues down the road caused by bad medical advice.
When a health care app is engaging, users are better equipped to handle their health. Digital health care platforms can offer employees trustworthy guidance regarding what to do in a given situation as well as advice on the best providers in their network. On the back end, apps can leverage data to understand what care is needed and use the right messaging to point your employees to the providers they need. Good health care information results in better choices — and money saved for both employees and employers. Digital platforms also give employees the ability to access cost estimates for care and compare options.
Don’t let the health care app trend pass your business by. Look for technology that’s comprehensive, smart and deeply integrated to create a whole new health care experience for your employees.
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