The Economist Intelligence Unit conducted a research that showed a change in wellness programs and their relationship with ROI and the employees’ willingness to take part in the programs. The Economist Intelligence Unit realized that employers are today not into wellness programs so as to achieve cost effectiveness but are rather concerned about the health of their employees. Many senior executives who were interviewed expressed the willingness of employers to ensure good health of all their employees. In return, they argues that a healthy workplace was key to high performance and more so, a healthy workforce saved their companies hundreds of thousands of dollars on medical related expenses. There are various factors that affect the effectiveness of big data in corporate wellness programs. Some of these determinant factors include the following:

Employee Participation

One major thing to note is that a wellness program cannot operate without quality and correct data. The wellness program depends on quality data for it to work effectively. This therefore requires every available health-related data point to be made available to the program.

It is essential to have well-defined metrics to measure the effectiveness of the wellness programs. Building a baseline is the first step to defining the metrics criteria and it starts with employees’ biometric data, employee’s survey, aggregated claim amount and participations. This will provide employers the roadmap to target the employees’ needs and have an impact to their bottom-line.

One challenge experienced in data collection is reluctance by some employees to share their health-related information. However, choosing a vendor that is PCI, HIPAA and HITRUST compliant can resolve some of that reluctance and make data flow much smoother. The employees will have confidence in the data sharing which will motivate increased participation allowing more data to be captured.

Health and Fitness Monitoring

There is a growing need to monitor the health and fitness of employees. The tracking technologies provide a platform to improve data through monitoring. By using the “Internet of Things”, which involves configuring wellness programming to mobile and wearable devices, gives a platform that facilitates automatic data collection that leads to achievement of wellness goals. If used correctly and effectively, the “Internet of Things” has the ability to achieve the level of accuracy set and influence outcomes.

Task Automation

It is of great importance to leave the medical experts to do what they do best; hands-on medical care. Therefore, wellness programs should be set in such a way that data analytics handle the data task until completion. The programs should also be set to trigger timely response instead of manual triggering by medical experts.

The centralized wellness portal helps with increasing participation and makes it easier for the users to get exposed to all available wellness programs. It will help employers to understand the population of health risks. With understanding their employee’s population of health risks the wellness programs can be tailored to those employee’s needs. By giving the employees what they need to improve their health will in turn increase the employer’s bottom line.

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