How telemedicine is helping employers.
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How telemedicine is helping employers.

There are two things we know for sure. One is that we are living in a time of hyperconsciousness regarding our health and wellbeing. The other is that remote work has become the norm for many companies.

By 
SOSA editorial team
October 2020

There are two things we know for sure. One is that we are living in a time of hyperconsciousness regarding our health and wellbeing. The other is that remote work has become, and will invariably stay, the norm for many companies. So what happens when our employees want to receive the best medical care from the comfort of their couches (i.e. at home offices.)? Health care has made the jump to digital with telemedicine and our ever growing population of at-home employees that can now be cared for remotely and thoroughly.

Being at home and constantly connected to our devices, telemedicine in its simplest form gives employees the instant (or near instant) satisfaction of addressing symptoms. All without resorting to Googling a quandary and being astounded by a shocking diagnosis that’s likely no where near accurate. According to a recent McKinsey survey, consumer use of telemedicine has dramatically increased, from 11 percent of US consumers using telehealth in 2019 to 46 percent of consumers now using telehealth to replace cancelled healthcare visits. 

"Consumer use of telemedicine has dramatically increased, from 11 percent of US consumers using telehealth in 2019 to 46 percent..."
Photo by National Cancer Institute

Apart from the desire many employees have to stay as socially distanced as possible due to the pandemic, there may also be team members who live in rural areas where access to a doctor is difficult at the best of times. Telemedicine offers an opportunity for all employees to easily access healthcare during these unprecedented times. This in turn is beneficial to both the employee and the employer in the following ways:

Productivity

Telemedicine services that provide the groundwork for employee happiness see it’s return in the form of productivity, with happy employees being 13% more productive. While happiness at work may come from a sense of purpose, validation, recognition, and company culture, feeling unwell can have long and short term repercussions for all parties involved. On a micro level, if an employee is distracted by minor symptoms or a fear of feeling sick, this can easily be addressed by using a service like Binah.ai that allows one to check their vital signs with ease and from your phone. This will free up time spent worrying or heading out of home to a doctor’s office. If a self-check through a smartphone seems too complicated for some users, receiving a diagnosis through a simple phone call is also available.

More Health Days, Less Sick Days

Although the 9-5 work day at the office is nowhere near in sight, employees may still require sick days. With access to an online doctor through dedicated services such as TytoCare, employees won’t have to spend a whole day out of office acquiring a diagnosis or even a doctor’s note. This will free up more time to spend getting better so they can get back to business. In addition, one may not need to wait until the situation is critical before physically going to a doctor; something that can cause unforeseen health complications causing them to need more time off in the long run. Telemedicine advancements such as a smartphone camera now being turned into a medical device, give doctors even more ways to keep you at home and at rest.

"Telemedicine services that provide the groundwork for employee happiness see it’s return in the form of productivity, with happy employees being 13% more productive."
The Advantage of Being Digitally Connected

In our digital world, people are used to ultra personalization experiences in many facets of their lives (from apps that say good morning, to ads that are pin-pointed at their needs). In traditional healthcare, patients often may feel unseen or unheard by their practitioners, given that doctors often have an overwhelming amount of patients. Too many to remember everyone’s name for example. Contrarily, digital healthcare allows for highly accurate personalized medicine where one can receive advice in real-time, or through different personalized programs such as GlucoseZone that offers specialized workouts for different types of diabetes.

For employers, the telemedicine benefits could go even further by including a Fitbit, where the data accrued from it can be used for employees to get better (or sometimes worse) insurance premiums. In a world of remote work, digital connectedness offers the social interactions employees may be missing. Whether it’s through an online meditation or yoga class, these types of programs can substitute for the lack of in-person interactions. Apart from a sense of community and ‘togetherness’, this can also create a sense of loyalty to employers; as employees feel that their wellness is being cared for on many fronts.

Photo by Raj Rana

"In a world of remote work, digital connectedness offers the social interactions employees may be missing."

Digital health and telemedicine’s rise in use was exacerbated by the pandemic but its value to people's lives regardless of our state of global turmoil was already evident. Having this access empowers patients and can lead to an overall happier, healthier work and personal life which is no longer separated by the office and commute. Having a vast telemedicine offering for your employees will not only be attractive to existing employees but to new ones, and will ultimately set you apart and ahead with your workforce.

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