August 2017

12 APAC / August 2017 , © 2017 Optum, Inc. 1702AP10 Health and Wellness - Moving into the Digital Age Optum ® is a health services and innovation company. They collaboratewith partners across the systemto lead change in health care, transforming health care for a better future for everyone. We invited their chief growth officer, Lynette Oat to learnmore about the challenges facing large employers in the Asia Pacific region and the array of health services that Optumoffers. Large employers throughout the Asia Pacific region face a major challenge - how to provide health and wellness programmes on a consistent basis to employee populations - spread out over several geographies. Offering numerous programmes across borders typically requires partnering with multiple vendors, resulting in administrative and regulatory complexity, high costs, inconsistent engagement strategies and difficulty measuring outcomes. The result, not infrequently, is the reduced ability to engage employees and accurately measure that engagement. Providing globally consistent programmes has become an even bigger challenge in recent years, with the proliferation of health applications for use with mobile technology – smartphones, tablets and other wireless devices. These apps provide health education, wellness promotion, health risk awareness and related functions. Multi-modal accessibility will continue growing, as the number of mobile phone users in the region is projected to surpass three billion in the coming years. (1) But employers continue struggling to engage their employees. According to Gallup, 87% of employees globally are not engaged. Clearly, there is room for improvement. While better known for its EAP services, Optum in fact provides a broad array of health and wellness capabilities in nearly 150 countries worldwide. As an affiliate of UnitedHealth Group, a Global 17 company on the Global 500 list, Optum continually seeks to innovate to drive employee engagement while containing costs. A digital engagement platform, which Optum is introducing as a central part of its corporate health suite, is one such innovation. “Multinationals can boost employee participation rates in wellness programmes through a digital engagement platform that seamlessly integrates with health and wellbeing services,” says Lynette Oat, the chief growth officer of Multinational Employer and Payer Solutions at Optum International. “A digital engagement platform with a health, mind and body approach should be the foundation of corporate health programmes. Tracking daily activities, individual or corporate challenges, quality of sleep and nutrition to produce an individual’s real-time ‘health score’ is key. Integrating that information with the employee’s data from other wellness programmes enables employers to connect those in need to EAP counselling, wellness coaching, biometrics and other related programmes, which in turn provides a seamless, personalised employee experience. Employers who provide a holistic digital engagement experience can see increases in engagement of 40-50 percent over traditional programmes.” (2) Oat points out that, according to research studies, learning about health on a daily basis is more likely to motivate people to make healthier decisions as they go about their routines. “We see it as the next generation of wellbeing on the global stage.” Another key point: employers can get a greater return on their investment in a digital engagement platform that is integrated with a wide variety of wellness services. The data that a digital engagement platform provides can also help inform an employer’s wellness strategy in real-time. As multinational employers continue to evolve and enhance their health and wellbeing programmes, utilising multiple solutions from many different vendors will not be the preferred strategy. A more efficient and effective approach is to engage a single vendor with a strong digital solution that integrates an array of culturally sensitive wellness programmes across regions, thereby providing the consistency and global parity that employers seek. 1. www.medtechintelligence. com/feature_article/mobile- health-in-asia-making- the-most-of-smartphone- technology/ 2. Based on a dacadoo analysis of 67,000 users. This type of engagement requires leadership investment and support.