3 Health and Wellness Trends You Need to Watch in 2017
Thanks to rapid improvements in technology the health and wellness industry is constantly evolving. Over the past few years, through the use of wellness portals and the accompanying technology, it has become much easier to accurately monitor one’s health, as well as the overall health of a company. To stay at the top of the wellness game, companies must incorporate the emerging trends into their health program or they risk being stuck in the past.
For 2017, there are three emerging trends to keep at the top of your watch list. These trends are likely to create a more successful wellness program that you and your employees will be excited to participate in.
Emerging Trend #1 – Wearables
Wearable fitness tracking devices have made huge strides in recent years. Gone are the clunky versions of the past that featured a limited level of functionality. Today’s fitness trackers feature a sleek design that easily aligns with the user’s daily wardrobe. More closely resembling a watch or a bracelet than a health monitor, the stylish appearance of these modern trackers has contributed to their increase in popularity.
Early fitness trackers provided just the basics, similar to a pedometer to track the number of steps. The new generation of wearable devices offers an array of features, including heart rate monitors, calorie counters, and sleep tracking functionality. Many also offer non-fitness tracking capabilities that improve the overall quality of our lives, such as real-time notifications of incoming texts, calls, and emails to help the modern worker stay better connected.
Emerging Trend #2 – Social Challenges and Gamification
Thanks to the improvements in wearables, social challenges are also growing in popularity. While companies have been aware of the benefits of healthy competition in the workplace for years, particularly when it comes to encouraging active participation in wellness programs, companies have been hesitant to include social challenges due to the burden of managing such challenges.
That is now a thing of the past, as wellness portals combined with integrated wearables have made it easy to launch, manage, and monitor social challenges. Furthermore, wearables not only track the data but can automatically sync a participant’s results with a challenge — ensuring the validity of the results and creating a fair environment for all participants.
Emerging Trend #3 – Advanced Analytics
Advanced analytics takes the descriptive statistics of the past, such as the mean, median and mode, and add a new layer by comparing and analyzing claims, biometric, and health risk assessment data. This in-depth reporting allows companies to better identify health risks and tailor their wellness program to decrease the occurrence of costly risk factors; ultimately resulting in companies decreasing healthcare expenses. By using advanced analytics, companies can also better measure the success of their wellness program and make adjustments to best suit the overall health of the company.
Keep an eye on these three emerging trends in the wellness industry and try to incorporate them into your wellness program to ensure that you see the best results.
Photo – Copyright: warrengoldswain / 123RF Stock Photo
About the Author
Alexis Levine is Director of Product at MediKeeper, a technology company that designs customizable wellness portals. Alexis is responsible for driving the overall product strategy and has deep domain industry helping clients across the country with their employee wellness programs.