Tom's Take Blog

October 18, 2017

How are wearable health devices being integrated into employee benefit programs and why?

Tom’s Take: I’m sure you’ve noticed that people have really taken to wearable fitness trackers in the last few years. The devices are flying off of shelves and we’re seeing more and more folks sporting them (especially the wristband variety!) in an effort to track things like steps taken, calories burned and quality of sleep.

 

Employers are also paying attention to this trend. At first, there was a gradual introduction of these devices into workplace wellness programs in the form of prize incentives or other small-scale health promotion efforts. But today, wearable health devices have become a much larger part of employee benefit programs, with some companies going as far as issuing fitness trackers to everyone on staff.

 

The value is in the ability to focus on disease prevention and get people tuned in to their own health. Many experts have said that these wearables are transforming health care. That’s because they are making people more aware of their individual health situations, enhancing anytime monitoring and helping users work toward wellness-focused goals and habits.

 

As the FDA continues to approve more devices with an added range of capabilities and technology, the wearables industry will just keep growing. We’re talking bands, body patches and other innovative gadgets that can do everything from aiding in remote patient observation to serving as an alert when things like abnormal vital signs or heart activity occur.

 

Companies are becoming more proactive about how they can positively influence workers’ health. If wearables are being integrated into employee benefit programs and having impact now, just think how effective they could become as the functionality keeps advancing!

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