Introduce Digital Health to Your Organization in 3 Steps
February 11, 2020 / Corporate Wellness
Tackle Chronic Conditions With Tech and Build a Foundation for Digital Therapeutics
When it comes to workplace wellbeing programs and health benefits, chronic health conditions represent an increasing concern and growing organizational expense. This presents employers with a powerful opportunity to leverage digital health and digital therapeutics (DTx) to drive value and improve economic and health outcomes.
Digital Health for Chronic Conditions
Today, digital therapeutics — a category within digital health — is delivering evidence-based interventions driven by quality software programs to prevent, manage or treat a medical disorder or chronic disease. DTx can actually replace or reduce the need for drug therapy or work alongside existing traditional clinic-based therapies to help with chronic conditions. Digital therapeutics are also edging their way into the corporate benefits space as the U.S. healthcare system slowly moves away from acute care and toward a more proactive, prevention-minded approach.
Let’s take musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions, for example. MSK disorders have a high prevalence and are a top cost driver for employers. No other chronic health condition impacts more lost workdays and more healthcare spend than MSK. A recent article in The Economist paints a picture of not only the scale of MSK conditions but also the poor treatment, especially with unnecessary surgeries, stating that “in 2015 there were roughly 85,000 such surgeries in America. The company [Cigna] found that two years after treatment 87% of customers were still in pain severe enough for medication or some other treatment; 15% had more surgery.” One reason for this is the medical community’s continuing focus on the traditional — and costly — route for imaging and managing chronic back pain.
How to Introduce Digital Health to Your Organization
Getting your organization prepared for introducing a digital health solution may seem like a tough challenge. However, as we point out in our Adopting Digital Health in the Workplace guide, most employees are already digitally savvy, health insurers are increasingly offering digital health benefits, and healthcare providers are getting on board.
These 3 foundational steps can help you prepare your organization for digital therapeutics:
Inspire and reinforce a culture of innovation across your organization.
Use the knowledge and information at hand to advocate for digital health at large and demonstrate how it can lead to better health outcomes and happier employees. Once you’re confident of the benefits of a DTx solution for your company, reinforce your commitment to innovation by explaining the existing level of employee digital engagement, payer adoption and the fact that your competitors are already investing in innovative digital health solutions.
Choose the approach that best matches your organization.
Understand your employee demographics and who will benefit the most from effective digital health solutions, especially when it comes to the management of chronic conditions. Depending on the dynamics of your organization, your digital therapeutic can be:
- Offered as a stand-alone, employer-sponsored voluntary benefit
- Bundled with group medical coverage
- Implemented as an off-cycle benefit and billed through medical claims, meaning the solution can be rolled out any time throughout the year
Work with your chosen vendor to communicate how a digital health solution can be seamlessly integrated with your existing health benefits and healthcare delivery system, creating a customized engagement.
Working in collaboration with your vendor, you can make DTx more engaging, impactful and measurable with highly personalized musculoskeletal and other DTx solutions. With the right tools and information in hand, you can drive and support your organization’s culture of innovation while demonstrating DTx ROI and value, like reduced spend per MSK patient; prevention of future costs; increased productivity, and an increased ability to attract and retain talent.
Now is the time. Make DTx more engaging, impactful and measurable with digital solutions that are individually personalized, yet capable of being implemented across large populations at scale.
Want to learn how digital therapeutics can benefit your organization? Talk to an expert at Virgin Pulse or Kaia Health today.
About Kaia Health
Kaia Health is an advanced digital health solution and an integrated partner with Virgin Pulse that offers members a digital therapeutic platform specifically designed for musculoskeletal health. Their evidence-based approach drives value, boosts engagement and improves health outcomes with a personalized approach to MSK.