Could tele-help apps become the new norm in the benefits arena?

Group benefits broker says apps allow workers to have "your physician in your pocket"

Could tele-help apps become the new norm in the benefits arena?


By Sam Boyer

There’s something “pretty innovative” happening in the group benefits space.

Marty Shaw, President of NFP in Canada, said tele-help apps could someday become the new norm.

Shaw said it’s often difficult to quantify “wellness” in a workforce. And, similarly, technological offerings that supposedly help with “wellness” don’t always offer Return on Investment metrics. But this new technology is changing that.

“One of the biggest challenges I have found people have is when they try to introduce ‘wellness’: how to get their clients more engaged and back to work, if they’re sick, and thinking about things that make them feel better – that would be ‘wellness’,” said. “But no-one can decide what an ROI on that is in Canada, they just can’t figure it out.”

But something began happening this year, “and it’s pretty innovative in our space,” Shaw said.

Tele-help apps – which allow a user to interact through their mobile phone or computer with medical professionals – are beginning to gain traction in the benefits arena.

“What I think is really cool about that, when you think about industries where people travel a lot in Canada, whether that’s couriers or truck drivers or business people, you really have your physician in your pocket now,” he said.

“If you’ve got people active on that, you could actually get people out of emergency rooms, out of walk-in clinics, because you have that service on these tele-help apps. You can actually start quantifying ‘wellness’ through an app that gets somebody well and saves time for the business. And if healthcare is accessible, and in a faster, more efficient way, your claims should go down. In the technology space, that’s pretty cool.”

Related stories:
NFP partners with Dalton Timmis Group, both expand their product offerings
Insurance – why it’s “not about pushing tech for tech’s sake”

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