Incorporate remote connectivity
The most successful results for employee wellness engagement come from building in-house clinics, but for remote workers, email and conference calls are the primary communication needs. With mobile and telehealth technology easily available, employers should have a virtual clinic option. Video chatting with a nurse or PA will provide a high-touch option that local employees may be slow to adopt but will soon crave, and will have a high likelihood of adoption to remote workers, quickly shifting to proactive advice rather than reactive treatment.
Conversely, how can healthcare insurers provide more meaningful interactions between users/patients and the app to create longer-term success?
Create a comprehensive resource
Since the financial aspect of healthcare is a constant concern for many employees, a single app with benefits, notices of coverage, and prescription information, as well as the ability to talk, text or chat with a care manager who has access to each users' records and HSA information, would be a valued app that serves as a one stop shop. A true full-service app would enable the user to interact across platforms to identify treatment, schedule a visit, complete paperwork and even have medications and products sent directly to their home.
Build a community
Using an app, an insurer can identify groups with similar needs, pains and treatment patterns to help connect users. When users have a mutually shared goal, wellness programs are more likely to succeed. In addition, the insurer could facilitate the creation and execution of a plan for each group, regardless if the goal is wellness or simply information exchange. This approach has the ability to generate relevance and enjoyment for users.
Finally, if a user/patient has access to a more "centralized" app that enables them to own the information, would it be valuable enough for a consumer to develop a more lasting relationship with the app?
Users/patients are tired of answering the same questions over and over again for providers of health plans, as well as hospitals and other care organizations. Yet as consumers, we know the importance of providing accurate information so we receive the best care.
Having the freedom to control your own medical records at your fingertips, and having the ability to share the information, can remove the hassle of making a formal request multiple times since the consumer owns the information and can keep track of it. This should empower the individual to make better choices about their health.
Without engagement, wellness programs will not succeed. Apps must create a "convenient way" to reach the user and make users/patients want to have health at their fingertips. Fewer barriers to consuming the value means more people will receive that value and come back repeatedly.