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Could tech be the key to a healthier workforce?

smart watch

The workplace could be the best place for the mass adoption of health 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 health 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% of the British workforce would be 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%), if employers offer workers the device and a financial bonus for wearing it at work.

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

Employees aren’t shy about sharing their health data with their employers to help them improve the health and wellbeing of the workforce. Of those who would be likely to wear a gadget while they’re at work, over half (58%) said 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, explains: “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. 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.” adds Dr Tomkins.

 

There are six categories for the Health Tech & You Awards programme 2017. Each has a distinct focus from identifying health tech that can support specific needs in society, having the most positive impact for health care providers and identifying individual innovators and organisations that are pioneers within the health technology for the benefit of individuals. Each of the six categories has its own judging and entry approach. To enter, please visit www.healthtechandyou.com. The closing date is Monday 16th January 2017.

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