Wearables are everywhere – from single-purpose fitness trackers to multitasking smartwatches, all supported by a host of custom apps.
It’s estimated that one in six consumers already use wearable technology1, and the workplace is no exception.
- Employees provided with wearable technology reported an 8.5% increase in productivity and a 3.5% increase in job satisfaction1.
- Companies are also beginning to embrace “bring your own wearable” models, with 54% currently supporting a BYOW model and an additional 40% planning to support it in the future1.
And wearables aren’t just catching on with millennials – 17% of Americans over the age of 65 have embraced wearable technology to track activity or vital statistics2.
However, fitness trackers alone don’t improve health3. By presenting raw data without context or guidance, a fitness tracker can easily become simply another accessory.
WebMD Health Services recognized this pitfall, and designed well-being program tools to harness the power of the data members are already creating. By working with a well-being partner, program members can also rest assured that their information is secure and private – employers don’t see individual data, and collecting information is only a tool to help members improve their health.
Gathering the Data
With the Device and App Connection Center , you can sync up data from more than 250 of the most popular trackers or apps (such as Fitbit, Garmin, MyFitnessPal, etc.). Instead of having to manually enter activity or biometric data to get program rewards, this data will automatically populate and count toward completion of applicable health goals and challenges.
Using the Data
We even take connectivity a step farther and use the information from wearables to enhance personalized goal-setting with the Digital Health Assistant .
By integrating data from multiple sources, members get valuable context on how facets of overall well-being interact. For example, tracking sleep quality in the same view as exercise and nutrition helps members see patterns in how they feel, and empowers them to make informed, effective choices.
Members can also use data from wearables to help manage chronic conditions like diabetes, asthma and coronary artery disease (CAD). Activity and vital stats sync from other sources into a single view, allowing you to track things like blood pressure or results of your A1C test. By focusing on essential activities that encourage healthy habits, we can help drive improvement in outcomes for those with chronic conditions.
Encouraging Program Engagement
You can tap into the widespread popularity of fitness trackers to meet your program members where they are and help them get rewarded for choices they’re already making.
If your well-being program includes WebMD Coaching, a health coach can view a member’s collected data and guide their conversations based on specific accomplishments and goals. For example, a coach can start a discussion with this detail: “I see you’ve been taking more steps this week – how’s that going for you? How would you feel about trying to reach 10,000 steps per day?” If an organization is having an event or challenge, the coach can encourage participation: “Do you know about the upcoming Invitational Team Steps Challenge? If you register, your steps automatically track toward the challenge.”
The wearable technology industry is continuing to grow rapidly, with huge potential for innovation across industries 1,4. You can take advantage of this trend to make your well-being program a real benefit and motivator for members, and help you create a healthier workforce.