Survey: How Innovative Employers Use Technology to Improve Health

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ShapeUp and context released the findings from our first annual Technology + Employee Wellness Survey this week.

Over the past six months, we’ve collaborated on the development, administration and analysis of an annual survey that will track employer adoption and application of health technologies such as mobile apps, sensors, trackers, forums and social networks.

About the survey

More than 350 employers responded to our survey, which was administered by PeopleMetrics. we asked these employers to help us better understand:

  • What are their key health communication objectives?
  • What are their primary communication channels?
  • How do they segment their audience?
  • What health technology do they currently use or plan to use?
  • If they currently use some type, does it help them reach their objectives?
  • What are the barriers to adoption?
  • What do they know of their employees’ technology use and ownership?

Health technologies help employers reach their objectives

We discovered that employers firmly believe health technology is helping them reach their goals of engagement, improved health outcomes and cost reduction.

  • 89 percent agree that their employees are interested in health technology tools;
  • 94 percent agree that health technology is instrumental in improving employee perceptions of their wellness effort;
  • 90 percent confirm that it has a positive impact on employee health engagement;
  • 82 percent agree that health technology has helped them achieve better health outcomes;
  • 72 percent agree that health technology has helped them achieve cost savings;
  • 65 percent consider employee access to technology to be a barrier, despite identifying that 65 percent of their employees have a smartphone and 79 percent percent have Internet access at work;
  • 51 percent don’t segment their audience — but when they do, it’s typically based on health status (29 percent) and location (26 percent). Only 15 percent segment based on gender and 11 percent based on age.

The secrets of innovators

We also discovered that companies considering themselves innovators, early adopters and even early majority adopters approach health similarly. These innovators were more likely to:

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  • Make greater use of technology-based communication channels overall, including the Internet, video and podcasts;
  • Engage hard-to-reach employees by capitalizing on their embrace of social and mobile technologies;
  • Cite their inability to measure outcomes as a key barrier to greater technology adoption.

These insights were pulled directly from the survey report. You can download the report (no registration required) on ShapeUp’s website.

This was originally published on Fran Melmed’s free-range communication blog.

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