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How Employers Are Using Digital Technology To Improve Healthcare ROI

As employers gear up for upcoming open enrollment periods, they are increasingly turning to digital healthcare solutions to provide high-quality benefits while managing costs. Telehealth is a popular choice, with 96% of employers offering it as a benefit, but they recognize its potential extends beyond immediate care needs. While 74% of employers believe in the transformative power of virtual care, they also aim to integrate it more closely with in-person care and incorporate virtual primary care into benefits packages by 2025. Employee preferences align with this approach, as data indicates that they seek more than just video visits for one-time needs. Currently, only 1 in 5 companies reports telemedicine usage rates of 8% or more, indicating a need for expanded and more comprehensive digital health options.


A doctor using digital health solutions.
By integrating these digital healthcare options into benefits packages, employers can address health conditions promptly, improve access to care, enhance medical expertise availability, boost employee engagement, and increase productivity.

Several key areas highlight the potential of digital healthcare solutions:

  1. Digital Entry Points for Care Management: Beyond virtual doctor visits, digital health encompasses tools like robust apps and patient portals that enable employees to manage their health effectively. Such platforms provide access to medical records, appointment scheduling, prescription renewals, test result checks, chronic condition management advice, and more. This co-management approach is crucial, especially for those with chronic conditions, which account for a significant portion of medical visits and prescriptions.

  2. Longitudinal Health Management: Virtual care extends to patient monitoring through apps, wearables, and remote patient monitoring with AI and machine learning capabilities. Providers are increasingly recommending smartphone apps, wearables, and other devices for tracking various health metrics. This trend is expected to grow, with 65% of self-insured Fortune 500 companies' benefits executives anticipating an increase in remote patient monitoring availability.

  3. Expanding Access to Specialized Expertise: Access to virtual second opinions is gaining traction to address diagnostic errors and provide specialized care. The market for virtual second opinions is projected to surpass $10 billion by 2027. These opinions connect employees with medical specialists, especially beneficial for complex cases and situations where local specialists are scarce. They streamline the process, reduce stress, ensure accurate diagnosis, and facilitate the right treatment plan.

By integrating these digital healthcare options into benefits packages, employers can address health conditions promptly, improve access to care, enhance medical expertise availability, boost employee engagement, and increase productivity. This comprehensive approach aligns with the evolving landscape of healthcare and employee needs, ensuring that virtual care realizes its full potential for both employers and employees. Check out the full article from Forbes.


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