Health tech could be the key to a fitter, healthier workforce

The majority of the British workforce would be open to monitoring their health with technology as long as their employer supplied a device to do so.

Only 5 per cent of workers have already been provided with health tech by employers

Only 5 per cent of workers have already been provided with health tech by employers

The workplace could be the best place for the mass adoption of tech in the UK helping to improve and maintain employees’ health through company wellness programmes – if only workers got more support from their employers.

And, despite the recent explosion of tech ownership in the UK, leading to lots of personal data being generated, there are doubts from data academics about whether this information is being used to the best effect by individuals alone.

The third annual AXA PPP Health Tech & You State of the Nation online survey shows that 57 per cent of the British workforce are open to wearing a company paid-for fitness band or similar device during working hours to help monitor their health and wellbeing, as long as this was supplied to them free of charge by their employer. This figure increases to nearly two-thirds (63 per cent), if employers offer workers the device and a financial bonus for wearing it at work.

However, only a small number of working Brits (5 per cent) say their employer currently provides health technology to workers – despite the potential benefits.

Data sharing

One of the most surprising findings from this latest survey is that employees aren’t shy about sharing their data with their employers to help them improve the wellbeing of the workforce.

Of those who would be likely to wear a fitness band at work, over half (58 per cent) say they would be comfortable to share the data generated with their employer if it helped with the organisation’s employee health and wellbeing programmes.

Dr Chris Tomkins, head of proactive health, AXA PPP healthcare, thinks that the increased use of health tech within the workplace could so easily be a win-win for both employer and employee. For the first time it is possible to support an individual throughout their journey from better understanding of their health to actual improvements through smart digital platforms.

Tomkins adds, ‘Furthermore, there are often staff schemes with open platforms that enable individuals to use and share information from their own personal devices, ensuring their contribution is recognised.

‘Of course, some individuals are naturally concerned about how their data is used and employers are keen to have a clear separation between themselves and such personal data. Therefore, both employer and employee could benefit from the expertise of using an independent third-party provider who can ensure privacy.’

The State Of The Nation survey was commissioned by AXA PPP healthcare as part of the AXA PPP Health Tech & You programme. Now in its third year, the YouGov survey questioned over 2,000 adults. The findings documented in this release relate to 1,249 working adults within the survey sample.

Richard Cooper, head of digital marketing, AXA PPP healthcare, states, ‘The findings of the State of the Nation survey suggest that most employees are open to wearing tech in the workplace to monitor their fitness and wellbeing.

‘During the last three years, the AXA PPP Health Tech & You Awards programme has identified many new and emerging health tech innovations that we have not only been able to highlight but also share knowledge of with our members and with our client partners for the benefit of their employees via our Proactive Health Gateway service.’

‘As part of our activities for 2017, we continue to seek the best in tech and encourage developers, innovators and designers to enter this year’s AXA PPP Health Tech & You Awards programme.’

Further reading on employee health

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