Published 23 days ago, by Roeland Pater
Corporate health programs are on the rise as more and more employers prioritize the benefits of a healthy and happy workforce. The Global Wellness Institute estimates that corporate health programs are already an approximately 40-billion-dollar industry worldwide. Not only do employees who feel well, work well, but they are less likely to incur additional costs to the company in terms of sick pay or loss of profit.
What is a corporate health program exactly?
Corporate health programs are any initiative run by a company to improve the health or wellbeing of its staff. These are usually structured throughout the year and offered on an ongoing basis to staff members. As digital health tools become more sophisticated, the role of health apps in corporate health programs is expanding as well. Below we run through a few of the main benefits of integrating health apps into wellness programs.
Health apps give individuals more control of their health
One of the central benefits of health apps is the control they give to individuals to track and manage their own health. Tools that enable users to scan their moles or keep track of how many miles they’re walking a day, for example, allow people to become more aware of their health without having to rely on healthcare providers or third-parties alone. These tools also help individuals know when it is time to go to a doctor or healthcare provider, helping prevent more serious conditions from developing. In the case of chronic illnesses, apps can be particularly useful in helping individuals monitor their conditions while also warning doctors of emergency medical situations should they occur.
Health apps can save money + improve doctor-patient communication
There are many health apps available now that help connect individuals to their doctors, enabling them to solve basic health issues and questions virtually rather than having to go into the office for a visit. This can not only be cheaper than in-person doctor visits, saving individuals and companies money, but it can also help increase early-diagnosis which, in turn, helps prevent illness and decrease the number of employee sick-days.
The ‘gamification’ of health apps increases motivation and behavior change
Gamification has become something of a buzz word recently as more and more companies are ‘gamifiying' websites, apps and products. Gamification simply refers to the application of aspects of game theory, such as competition, scoring points, rules of play, etc., to some other entity or activity. Often times health apps are ‘gamified’ to help motivate and/or encourage people to engage with or commit to something, be it a diet, a new meditation habit or perhaps information on proper health behaviors like how to apply sunscreen.
Gamification taps into some of the most basic aspects of human psychology, and, if it is integrated into the design of a health app from the start, it can be very effective in getting people to adopt new behaviors. By playing on our desire for achievement and accomplishment, ‘gamified’ health apps can help individuals keep doctor’s appointments, eat more vegetables or stay on top of important exercises for physical therapy or chronic disease. Not to mention, the gamification part, if done right, has the added bonus of making the process fun and easy.
Health apps collect useful and valuable data
Another key benefit of health apps are their ability to collect and analyze user data. This data can be helpful in tracking conditions or body changes over time. For example, individuals can observe their sleep cycles, track their fertility, or catalogue the moles on their body for future reference. It can also make it easier for doctors to keep track of and provide access to patients’ health records and history, among other things.
data collection can raise discussions about privacy, most companies are taking
steps to protect users’ privacy by anonymizing data so that it can never be traced
a good idea if security is a concern.
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