The challenges of personalised healthcare
|About the Author|
|Derek Goldberg is the Managing Director, Asia Pacific, for Aetna International.
A main challenge in personalised healthcare is the work that comes with improving or revamping existing models of corporate healthcare.
A realistic approach identifies employees by their roles and scope of work before prescribing a suitable programme to capture most of these needs.
As an example, field engineers may feel more assured if their corporate coverage ensures physical safety and health, while office-bound workers might prioritise mental health coverage.
Finding a good fit based on the employee’s role requires bespoke healthcare solutions, which makes having the right service provider more important than ever.
Similarly, creating or modifying existing models into personalised programmes requires the firm to understand its priorities and challenges. Is the company trying to address turnover rates?
Are they mitigating healthcare spend? Is the firm collecting the right data to show if people are happier, healthier, willing to stay longer, and are more productive? Is the firm getting the right crowd into the right programmes?
Fortunately, it’s never too late to innovate or revolutionise the firm’s approach, and such data to support changes can be collected by examining other personalised models, or by trial-and-error.
Firms could share this task with their service providers, as they are equally responsible for providing the means to companies to pursue holistic, well-integrated coverage.
The third challenge lies in balancing new technologies with the cultivation of wellness habits. Even if freely provided, wearable technologies often fall by the wayside as other priorities including work takes over employees’ time.
Companies that mobilise new tools must facilitate positive social support in their domains. Service providers can help firms find the best personalised approach for customers to engage with their employees, but employees have to be motivated to take ownership of their health.
For personalised healthcare to succeed, individuals must be the first to be on board. Cutting-edge technology, company support and insurance coverage can make us more aware of our physical health and routine behaviours, but it is we who need to make positive decisions for ourselves and our firms.
In any event, this is a corporate journey and companies will continue to refine their approach over time. I’m reminded of one of our customers that sought to address stress and environmental adjustment issues in the workplace and opted to start with telephonic access to mental health counsellors.
Soon after, a series of incidents raised awareness of additional employee needs, and the program was expanded to include periodic on-site counselling and more comprehensive coverage of psychiatric treatment.
The point of personalisation is that one size does not fit all.