Using technology to support a healthy workforce


The use of modern technology has helped to transform medical practices in recent years – saving many lives along the way. But if you want to preserve the health and wellbeing of your business, you’ll find prevention is still better than cure… and the good news is that technology can help with that too.

With all the apps, tools and gadgets available in today’s market, you can be really quite creative when it comes to getting your team in good working order. It’s just a case of matching the technology to your business. To help get you started, here are some suggestions that you might want to consider.

Online Reminders

It’s no secret that spending too long in front of a PC or tablet can cause serious health issues. But when employees get engrossed in their work they often forget to take a break. So in order to avoid common ailments like back pain, eye-strain and headaches, they sometimes need a prompt.

Despite being part of the problem, technology offers all kinds of solutions, from simple online reminders to sophisticated apps. Some play sounds at regular intervals, others black out the screen or even suggest appropriate exercises to recharge the batteries. There are also those that display how long the user has been at their computer without taking a break.

The more popular online programmes include Awareness, EVO and Eyeleo, but there are a whole host of other options available. So it’s worth doing a bit of research before making your final decision.

Trackers, wearables and sensors

From heart-rate monitors and exercise trackers to sleep sensors and stress-busting wristbands, today’s market is full of wearables that can help your employees focus on their specific health goals. Fitbit is one of the more popular brands, but again there are plenty of alternatives.

Some devices can be linked together so that you can set team incentives and introduce a little healthy competition. Others focus on creating good habits, such as sensors like Lumo Lift that helps to create good posture while sitting at a desk.

What’s noticeable about these tools is that they are slowly bringing hospital level diagnostics into everyday environments – giving people real time health information at the touch of a button.

Smartphones and tablets

Just like wearable gadgets and sensors, there are now apps available on phones and tablets that can help your employees monitor exercise, sleep and stress levels. Many of them also come with impressive solutions, such as personal exercise regimes, mindfulness programmes and dietary recommendations.

As technology continues to improve, phone apps are becoming more and more intuitive. They track personal behaviours and recommend appropriate intervention based on individual requirements. Always check out the details before you go ahead, but if you’re looking for a tailored, cost-effective healthcare solution for your business, apps like Headspace and Focus Keeper are a great place to start.

Virtual health assessments

In order to keep your employees motivated, it’s better to come up with personalised solutions that encourage them to focus on the right areas. While nothing compares to a face-to-face health assessment, some companies offer online health checks that are incredibly sophisticated and will at least get your team thinking about their health.

Alternatively, if you want to focus on specific healthcare concerns, there are sites that can help with that too. For example, Sleepio offers a web-based programme that is designed to treat insomnia, anxiety and depression over a six-week period.

Digital platforms

Doctors are great at treating acute illnesses and injuries, but managing ongoing conditions like stress, back pain and diabetes can be a little more complicated. Sometimes it helps to share experiences with peers or to have real time access to healthcare professionals.

Most leading healthcare providers now offer a wealth of health information and advice online. Plus sites like MedHelp, PatientsLikeMe and HealthUnlocked give people an opportunity to get real time support for common healthcare complaints. So if you want to help your employees become well-informed about specific issues, it’s worth pointing them in the right direction.

As with all tech-based products in today’s market, it’s important to do the appropriate research before making any final decisions. But if you focus on specific healthcare goals and start with a few simple solutions, technology may be the smartest way to improve the health and wellbeing of your business!

Disclaimer: This article has been written in collaboration with Bupa, one of Elect’s insurance providers. It is for information only and is not specific advice. It is based on our current understanding of the attributed research which may change in the future.