Palo Alto, California – Employers still carry the heavy burden of healthcare benefits for Americans and the managed care costs are not getting smaller. Companies are constantly looking to find ways to lower these costs and they are currently getting creative using technological advances in communication and health tracking to do so.
Promoting wellness instead of doctor visits has been the number one way that companies are trying to manage these rising costs. Onsite gyms, prevention check-ups and free health class offerings are just a few of the popular programs making their way into employee benefits.
With the rapid uptake of wearable technology and the new integration of platforms such as Google Fit and Apple Healthkit, we are seeing a trend for a more involved patient. It’s becoming easier and more adopted to take control of our own health and fitness data in order to meet our health goals. This information is currently taking shape and communicating with Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to provide an overall understanding of our well being.
These digital tools are available to connect patients with their doctors, but don’t provide data to the employer health benefit programs who are carrying the costs.
Connected Health Platform
Jiff, a company based out of Palo Alto, California, is aiming to connect these platforms in order to provide information for managed care costs. By aggregating this data into the overall picture, companies will be able to use this information to create further incentives for employees who are actively participating in their own healthcare.
The company recently raised an additional $18 million for their connected health platform that integrates with existing health benefit programs, equaling $25.8 million for a total investment of their product. This may seem like a lot, but currently the self-insured costs make up 30% of the annual health dollars spent totaling $670 billion. This only equates to a 0.004% investment cost. If the technology can motivate just 1% of employees, this will equal a significant cost savings for managed care.
Who Gets The Data?
The primary concern for employees is who has access to their data. If the program is offered through an employer, there may be some reservations about who the employee is willing to share their information with. Jiff states that their platform protects the data of employees while offering personalized incentives, keeping the control and privacy protection at the employee’s control. Since their platform connects with existing health benefit packages, the program is offered as an opt-in service.