COVER Magazine posed the question ‘What’s next for digital healthcare?’ in a recent webinar hosted with Legal & General.
The webinar explored the key factors currently impacting the digital healthcare space, including:
- Personalised health approaches
- Advancements in data and technology
- The prevention of health risks
- Support for long-term/chronic conditions
- Interventions for mental health
In this article, we’ve delved into the most interesting insights from this webinar, exploring how digital healthcare is in a constant state of growth and development, and what this means for employers and employees.
Looking to invest in digital healthcare options and employee benefits? Contact our team of experts for FREE quotes and advice. Call +44 (0)1273 974419 or fill in the contact form on the right.
5 things you should know about the future of digital healthcare
“The digital arena is the arena in which we live and exist day-to-day – that is our everyday reality.”
Digital healthcare has made big strides over the last few years, yet there is still more work to be done to ensure employee needs are effectively addressed.
1. Healthcare must meet the needs of the “Netflix generation”
There have been major changes within public and private healthcare as it has moved from an exclusively in-person model to one that increasingly utilises remote services. Virtual clinics and GP services are on the increase, and private healthcare packages can now provide multiple services within one digital platform.
The acceleration of digital health services post-pandemic has moved everything up a step. Healthcare providers and services must be responding to this pace and ensure there are fully integrated approaches, so patients have a choice whether it’s via the NHS or through private routes.
Even people with chronic and long-term health conditions (HCI) are increasingly able to benefit from digital support.
A big part of the drive comes from consumer expectations. We now live in a world of smartphones, Spotify, Netflix, and constant access to just about everything you can think of at the touch of a button. Consequently, employees and clients have become more “consumerised” and expect fast-paced results or solutions. They will increasingly expect the same when it comes to health and wellbeing.
2. Providing easy (and private) access is a must
Digital healthcare makes a wider range of services more accessible, but it still needs to be signposted. Are they accessing the platform? Do they know how to access it? And do they know how to use it?
There is still a stigma around many health conditions, so a platform that provides an individually tailored and confidential service is a big step forward. This means employees can gain direct access to the support they need, without needing to go through HR and management.
But such services still need to be clearly promoted to employees. They need to know what’s available to them and how they can use it. That could mean giving bespoke tutorials on how to use the platform, for example. Also, the simple matter of providing health services under one easy-to-access platform is vital – too many platforms and access points are likely to lower uptake.
Health and wellbeing can sometimes be an exploratory process. Having a digital portal enables employees to find their most trusted provider and access a range of services. Knowing that access to a healthcare provider is private and direct bypasses a barrier which too often stops people from seeking help.
Digital healthcare platforms are often provided within Business Health Insurance policies. Find out how it knits together by contacting our expert team of brokers at Engage Health Group. Call +44 (0)1273 974419 or fill in the contact form on the right for FREE guidance.
3. Technology can support new “health empowered” employees
A perk of digital healthcare is how it promotes self-management and care when it comes to individual health. It can make clients feel more in control of their health. For example, if they know which service they require, they can quickly access it – all on their own terms. This enables them to engage as informed consumers/patients.
People-centred healthcare using multi-disciplinary teams gives a truly holistic, individually tailored patient/employee experience and boosts the overall quality of life. The digital arena supports patients in their role as active participants, empowering employees to take an interest in their own health and wellbeing.
4. Data-driven healthcare will improve outcomes
Confidentiality and data usage are other major topics covered in the webinar. Quality assurance and confidentiality have always been important in any healthcare service. However, digital healthcare constantly monitors and uses data from its platforms to create successful evidence-based services.
Interestingly, HCI offers a service where patients can capture and record their own health experiences to track their symptoms or general health and wellbeing. This record is patient-held, meaning it goes no further than the platform and the individual. It enables visibility, better self-management of health, and provides an insightful tool for progressing to the next step.
5. Personalised experiences are key
Landing on a fully personalised experience is THE aim of digital healthcare. It’s all about supporting the health journey of every individual employee.
The expert panel referred to all the factors of a patient’s life as their “individual system”, which includes family and employer-employee dynamics. Recognising the employee’s needs in their individual system means supporting their families and loved ones as well.
A great analogy that the panellists used to capture this reality was that nobody’s “homepage” is the same. Just as a homepage on Netflix or Spotify would capture the different elements of your life – family members, favourite shows, favourite songs – so must your digital healthcare portal.
Having easy access, availability, and flexibility to create a personalised experience is vital to getting the best care for your employees.
Looking for independent advice?
The future of digital healthcare is a fascinating topic – and it was great to hear the views of industry insiders. It’s also encouraging for those businesses seeking the most effective way of supporting the health and wellbeing of their workforce.
So, how do businesses make the most of the opportunity it offers?
There is no one way to get started with digital healthcare, but we would always recommend getting expert advice. Digital health support is often provided within Company Health Insurance policies but can also be purchased separately.
By speaking to an AMII-affiliated broker like Engage Health Group you can get independent advice on how best to navigate the world of employee benefits – and get FREE quotes in the process.
Contact us at [email protected] or call +44 (0)1273 974419 for FREE no-obligation advice and support.