Do Companies ‘Struggle’ Around Wellness Data?

Data privacy remains a key concern — and important skill — around any workplace wellness program. Today more than ever, companies must not only maintain strict privacy in fact, but also in spirit — through communications and more.

At the same time, a proper use of data can provide employees all kinds of insights — and can help companies consider proper plan design.

But as HealthMine notes, “A recent survey from Fitbit showed that while most companies have wellness programs, they struggle to use the data the programs generate.” Indeed, according to a Mobihealth News story on the same survey, “about 28 percent of the CEOs surveyed said it is hard to keep track of the data.”

Further, HealthMine noted that it has found similar results: “An October 2015 HealthMine survey of insured consumers revealed that 38 percent are confused about what their lifestyle/behavioral health data means, and only 42 percent know what actions they need to take after looking at this data.”

One potential negative to ignoring useful data: Companies may be slow to make important improvements to their wellness programs and, for that matter, health plans.

In reviewing the Fitbit data, the┬áMobihealth pieces notes: “Less than half of the CEOs surveyed, about 44 percent, said they made changes to their wellness program within the last year. Meanwhile, 28 percent said they made changes to their wellness program one to two years ago and 23 percent said they made changes to their program three to five years ago.”

As HealthMine concludes: “Until we close the health data knowledge gap, the promise of wellness programs, digital health tools, and providers with ready access to electronic medical records will remain unfulfilled.”