Increasingly we are becoming more aware of the drain on our wellbeing that being constantly connected brings, along with the detrimental impacts technology is having on personal interactions and relationships with our families. However when applied constructively technology is adding a great amount of value to our lives, both at work and home.
You’d be forgiven for not registering the level of technology we all use in every aspect of how we live, and the choices we make based on access to it, but nearly every element of our day involves technology. If you are seeking a business connection the first step involves a phone or PC, making a dinner reservation, taking a taxi, monitoring the amount of steps you took today. Health related technology is experiencing something of a revolution. In a global survey of 8,000 people, Accenture revealed that the number of consumers who use wearable devices or a mobile app for monitoring their health has doubled in the last two years.
Clearly the appetite for combining health and technology is dramatically increasing, and for businesses this ‘telehealth’ is set to transform productivity and reduce absenteeism. One such example is online doctor consultations; employees taking sick days or time off will no longer be needed for the 70% of conditions a GP can treat via an app or desktop programme.
Millennials are expected to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025 bringing with them attitudes shaped by the digital revolution, therefore businesses need to use insights and learnings to adapt and develop strategies which particularly appeal. And with 33% of Millennials saying they were either “not happy at all” or “quite unhappy” in their current job, it’s time for employers and business act.
The United States are early adopters of telehealth, as are Denmark, Finland and the UK. The US alone has seen a 10% year-on-year increase in virtual consultations, growth is projected to reach 26.9 million users by 2020 and with US employers projected to save $6 billion per year by providing telemedicine technologies to their employees it’s no longer something Irish businesses can afford to ignore.
An Irish business leading the digital revolution by providing 21st century healthcare is VideoDoc. CEO Mary O’Brien explained, “online GP consultations are the doctor’s house call of the modern age, the new waiting room is the comfort of your home or office, where, once registered, you’ll wait approximately three minutes to be seen by an Irish Medical Council registered GP.”
For companies there is a beneficial impact to offering an on-demand GP service as part of the wellness offering or employee benefit scheme. Sick days costs the Irish economy €1.5 billion a year, and with a total of 11 million days lost to absenteeism every year, adding a GP consultation service can prevent the need to take time off to visit a clinic.
Mary O’Brien continued saying that “technology plays a part in the future of healthcare, however I never see an online doctor replacing GP practices, it’s a complimentary service, and when practiced in a safe and effective way can add value to the range of healthcare offerings in any business. At VideoDoc we offer the lowest cost for a corporate scheme, our subscriptions start from just €15 per person annually. This enables unlimited access to a GP consultation and medical advice 356 days a year anytime, anywhere, even when travelling.”
The best approach organisations can take is to embrace the revolution and adopt a strategy to telehealth. A Willis Towers Watson survey found that more than one-third of large US companies now offer a telemedicine service to their employees. Wider access to doctors can only be a positive and productive use of technology, benefitting the business and its employees.
Watch the video from VideoDoc: