71% of staff believe employers can help manage their health through technology

Just under three-quarters (71%) of employees believe their employer can help them manage their physical health through technology, according to research by Aetna International.

The research of 4,000 respondents in the US, UK, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Singapore also found that almost two-thirds (61%) of employees felt the same about mental health support. 

Additionally, over two-thirds (69%) believe access to physical health services provided by their employer through their phone would help them manage physical health better, with that figure rising to three-quarters (75%) for mental health services.

Four-fifths (80%) of employees said they would willingly share their health data to improve health and wellness benefits across the business, while 74% would do so to improve personalised health benefits across the organisation.

Over two-thirds (69%) believed that sharing personal health data would improve business culture, while three-quarters (75%) would do this to improve workplace policies.

The majority (85%) of employees in the UK are most likely to think convenient access to exercise or health appointment options online would help them manage physical health, compared to 74% in Singapore, 79% in UAE, and 70% in the US.

However, over six in ten (64%) employees worry it could one day be used as an incentive for promotion, while an additional 64% believe that it could be a way to determine salary grades.

Just under three-fourths, (72%) of UK employees were the most worried about their employers using their health data as a form of providing recommendations for their next job.

More than half (57%) of employees had concerns about their employer sharing their personal health data with government agencies or institutions. Additionally, three-quarters (74%) of UK employees were the most concerned about their employers sharing their health data with third parties.

Richard di Benedetto, president at Aetna International, said: “Technology has not only revolutionised how we collaborate, communicate and work, but also how organisations help support and improve employee health and wellbeing. In the current climate, high-tech, high-touch corporate wellbeing strategies that include apps, devices and virtual access to care services, are high on the list of employee demands. Businesses have a significant opportunity to embrace technology and innovation and fundamentally change their values, culture and approach to employee health.

“Of course, with more digital innovation comes more data, and a greater need to alleviate employees’ concerns about the use of their health data. All employers are responsible for the privacy and protection of their employees’ health data, ensuring that individuals retain ownership and control.”