Maximizing Health Benefits with Cutting-Edge Technology
Telemedicine may have taken the world by storm during the COVID-19 pandemic, but there's still more technology that employers can integrate into their group health plans to help their employees get the most out of their benefits and make more informed health decisions. And, as it turns out, employees are eager for more tech in their benefits package. Here are three top technologies to consider.
Apps and Patient Portals
Health plans are now offering user-friendly apps and online patient portals for their enrollees to manage their healthcare with ease. These one-stop shops allow patients to find a doctor, schedule appointments, receive reminders for important preventative care, renew prescriptions, check test results, and get advice for managing chronic conditions. The best apps even provide access to medical records and the ability to share them with doctors or specialists. This helps streamline patient care, especially for those with chronic conditions. Some health plan portals also serve as the platform for virtual care visits with doctors.
Real-Time Health Tracking
Remote patient monitoring is one of the latest frontiers in healthcare, thanks to the explosion of smartphone and tablet apps and wearable technology. A survey by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society found that 52% of providers recommend smartphone or tablet apps for monitoring and tracking health, while 36% recommend wearable technology for monitoring vitals like heart rhythm and rate, blood pressure, temperature, and glucose levels. Tech giants like Apple have made health maintenance a major part of their platform, allowing users to monitor their health with an iPhone and Apple Watch. Wearable technology is expected to play a larger role in maintaining health and providing help when needed, with 65% of benefits executives expecting increased use of remote patient monitoring.
Virtual Second Opinions
Studies have shown that 10% of patients are misdiagnosed for serious conditions like cancer, infections, heart attack, or stroke. These mistakes can cost a life or a fortune. To prevent this, some employers are now offering virtual second-opinion services for their employees. This service allows patients to have their case reviewed by another doctor anywhere in the country, saving on travel costs and time. Patients work with a nurse liaison who gathers all their records and schedules video consultations with a specialist. A second opinion after receiving bad news can provide peace of mind and, in some cases, be life-altering or life-saving.
The Bottom Line
As technology continues to play a larger role in healthcare, it's wise for employers to consider adding new services that include tech that can improve the employee healthcare experience. Happy employees with better health plans and care will improve employee retention and satisfaction.