Employee Well-being: Is Wellness Technology the Answer?

Over the past few years, modern wellness technology has steadily evolved from a handful of disjointed, rudimentary solutions into a booming industry packed with affordable and innovative mobile apps and wearable devices.

A quick look around your local electronics shop or online app store will prove that there’s no shortage of mobile apps, hi-tech gadgets, and new technology to help us track and manage our health. From fitness trackers, calorie counters, budgeting tools, and sleep aides, there seems to be no stone left unturned. Even meditation and mindfulness have gone digital with solutions like Headspace and Calm gaining ground. It’s no wonder adoption of wellness technology is steadily on the rise.

But is this new wellness technology the silver bullet solution we’ve been looking for to help improve employee health?

While technology definitely has its advantages, no amount of bells and whistles will ever replace the power of adding a human touch to your workplace wellness initiatives. Indeed, countless studies have proven that employees who have access to human expertise—like the kind offered by health coaches—often make better health decisions. That’s because health coaches can connect on a personal level to provide guidance, support, and motivation that is unmatched by even the most cutting-edge technology.

In addition to helping employees set and reach specific health goals, health coaches can also play a major role in helping employees manage health conditions they may be dealing with. Licensed professionals, like nurses and registered dietitians, have a wealth of experience and can provide the guidance to help employees effectively leverage technology solutions and make meaningful lifestyle changes.

While it’s easy to get excited about the possibilities that emerging wellness technology can bring to the table, it’s important to remember that sacrificing personalized support in favor of new technology is a missed opportunity to do better. Instead, learning how to successfully incorporate those solutions into your overall wellness initiatives could hold the key to engaging employees in their personal wellness and building a healthier, more productive workforce.

-Mike Lamb, President and CEO, Viverae