For some, even connecting the words "wired and wellness" is counterintuitive, especially as being tethered to cell phones, computers and tablets every waking minute of our lives has created a backlash of its own. But, still, we have become a society that is crazy for data - and putting this data to work can truly make us "well".
Although there may be a significant amount of hype surrounding digital health apps and devices (including lots of venture capital money), Spafinder Wellness predicts that Wired Wellness has a stunning potential to change the way we both look at and approach our overall wellbeing.
Employee wellness programs continue to drive Wired Wellness in 2014. Whether the goal is to significantly reduce health insurance costs, minimize absenteeism or, perhaps most importantly, increase the workforce's wellbeing, employee wellness is setting the agenda around this segment. And, because businesses are actively tracking the results of these programs, they have realized early on that without a motivational or social aspect driving the use of these devices, people are less likely to embrace them.
So companies have started integrating team play and social sharing into wellness programs and have seen results and participation soar.
As Chris Rooney from employee wellness startup GetHealth says: "An app won't change how someone exercises or eats on its own; it has to be tied into a number of different mediums–from medical doctors to health insurance providers to physical trainers and even a user's social group."1
However, as with mHealth, privacy concerns in workplace wellness also shouldn't be minimized. Questions like: Who will have access to all of this data? Should employers (or their insurance companies) be able to monitor whether or not we've walked to work or had a croissant for breakfast versus a piece of fruit? In order for the next phase of Wired Wellness to take shape, we will be seeing a sharp focus on the control of this data.