Employers can impact the long-term health of their employees by emphasizing wellness, prevention and early detection with tools like wearables and digital health innovations, they say a report published by Deloitte.
Deloitte’s health and life actuarial teams identified the top ten causes of death and illness, analyzed publicly available data and modeled Americans’ life and health spans—years of healthy living.
The teams concluded that Americans could potentially live 95% of their lives in good health and live close to 90, with employers in a unique position to act as a catalyst for this change.
Employers should implement health initiatives beyond traditional health insurance and invest in screening, prevention and home care. They should also focus on physical and mental health through digital tools and augmented networks that improve employee financial and health literacy, enable wealth management, and promote and incentivize healthy habits. Improved employee health could, in turn, improve a company’s overall success.
“Wearables and digital tools help enable change, especially when combined with coaching and nudging,” said the report’s authors.
Although employers can help improve the health of their workforce, the authors suggest that there should be a collaborative effort between employers, public health, individuals, and the life sciences and healthcare industries. At the same time, health inequalities must be addressed to ensure better health for all Americans.
The average life expectancy of black Americans has been found to be 72.7 years, with a health span of less than 60 years. The average life expectancy of Native Americans, or Alaskans, was 68.3 years, with a health span of less than 54 years. However, white Americans have been found to have an average life expectancy of 78.5 years with a health span of 66 years.
If employers implement the report’s recommendations, all American life expectancy could increase by an average of 12 years and health expectancy by an average of 19.4 years by 2040, with health expectancy increasing by 25 years for Black people and 28 years for American Indians or Alaska Natives.
“Healthy aging is not a mirage, but it is something we can now see and achieve. We have the science and the tools available to drive this forward, and with digital transformation and commitment, we are able to take it to the average American to take action.” “That’s the power of digital health that isn’t not only provides the power of effective care, but can give everyone increased awareness of how to manage their health,” says Andy Davis, director of healthcare practice at Deloitte Consulting LLP and one of the report’s authors Mobile Health News in an email.