Ways in which digital healthcare can positively impact your clients’ wellbeing initiatives
Over the past few years, the UK has faced a major cost of living crisis that's affecting how people live. According to recent research, more than half of Brits (55%) feel their health has been negatively affected by the rising cost of living, naming stress to be a major contributor to their ill health.
It’s most likely why providing accessible private healthcare for employees has become a pressing priority for many businesses across the country, with digital healthcare being the most affordable, convenient, and efficient way to do this. In a recent study by Mercer Marsh, 43% of employers said they find a digital healthcare future for employee benefits appealing, with almost half intending to make their benefits offering more digital.
Here are ways digital healthcare is revolutionising employee healthcare, and how your clients could benefit from it too.
Digital claims and medical services
With the increased pressure on the NHS, almost 10 million people went without primary care earlier this year in the UK, with over 7.6 million people still waiting for treatment in July 2023. Furthermore, the future doesn’t look promising as the National Audit Office (NAO) warns that the original plans to reduce waiting times in the UK by 2025 are at risk.
Digital healthcare, on the other hand, can offer minimal wait times for medical appointments. Services like a 24/7 GP helpline, online treatment, and claim requests offer flexibility for your clients’ workforce to get the care they need when they need it, including outside of business hours. Online appointments for employees can significantly decrease business absenteeism, which has been reported to cost the UK economy £43 bn a year.
One of the main reasons for wearable tech’s increasing popularity is the convenience and control it brings to people’s lives. With fitness trackers and smartwatches that track steps, heart rate, sleep patterns, stress levels and more, it can give people greater insight into their physical and mental health.
With 36% of 25-49 years olds having and using wearable tech on a regular basis and the number of wearable tech users forecasted to increase by 52.83% between 2023 and 2027, it’s likely that most of your clients’ employees are already using wearables in some form.
So, employers can actually tap into this growing enthusiasm and motivate employees to take control of their health and wellbeing through interactive challenges like tracking steps together as a team or encouraging the use of mindfulness apps. This in turn could help reduce absenteeism in the workplace and nurture a more positive work environment.
Role of digital health in mental wellbeing
Digital healthcare has brought about a remarkable change in how businesses can address mental healthcare needs by enabling employees to have therapy online, access self-help tools, mindfulness exercises, meditation classes and online support groups - making it easier to get the help they need when they need it most.
Digital therapy can be budget-friendly and effective option for employees who suffer from anxiety, depression and psychosis. These virtual options help employees access information and support at their own pace, from the comfort of their home and at a time that suits them.
Wellness portals for ongoing support
Like mental wellbeing apps, wellness portals have helped employees take charge of their own wellbeing. With the ability to track their progress, set reminders for breaks and exercise, and access wellbeing resources online, employees could take a more active role in their healthcare journey. And ultimately, lead to a happier, healthier and more balanced lifestyle for the entire workforce. Our own wellbeing hub on the Benenden Health App has shown increasing numbers of active users accessing 200+ fitness videos, 20+ wellness programmes, 200+ nutritional recipes and self-guided meditation sessions.
Digital healthcare has quickly become a part of modern life, and it's likely to stick around for good. With the positive impact it can have on employee health and wellbeing, it might be a good time to help your clients, and their employees, understand the full spectrum of its uses and benefits, adopt digital healthcare services and pave the way for a healthier, happier workforce.
Benenden Healthcare for Business enables all businesses in the UK the ability to offer affordable, high-quality private healthcare to every single one of their employees. Affordable private healthcare that complements your existing benefit solutions, making business healthcare a reality for all employees.