Are you keeping your workforce ‘appy’?

16 September 2015 - Patrick Watt, Corporate Director at Bupa UK
man looking into the camera

It’s estimated that there are now over 1.5 million mobile phone and tablet apps available to download.  Whether you want to access your bank records, book a table for dinner, or even catapult ‘angry birds’, there will be an app that will meet your needs!

The increasing number of people using apps to help manage their lives presents a huge opportunity for businesses, offering them an effective way to engage with their people.  This is particularly the case in organisations where employees are on the road, travelling the country, or working remotely.

One way that I see that apps and digital technology can really benefit businesses, is by helping their people to manage their health and wellbeing.  A healthy workforce is crucial to a successful business, and we know that employee health and wellbeing is high up on business agendas.  But, we also recognise that people’s healthcare needs and expectations are changing - they increasingly want fast and easy access to healthcare products and services and welcome digital innovations that support this.

Earlier this year we launched Bupa Boost, a digital innovation designed to support businesses to embed a more positive and proactive health culture across their organisation. We’re working with a number of corporate clients to introduce this into their workplace, supporting them to improve the health and wellbeing of their entire workforce.

And our work in harnessing the power of a humble app to help businesses put quick and easy healthcare into the pocket of every employee, does not stop there.

Today I’m really excited that we have announced a new partnership with babylon to provide virtual healthcare services to busy workers.  Accessed through an app on a smartphone or tablet device, babylon enables employees to have virtual appointments with a GP - speaking with them directly over video link, phone, or text message. They can also use the app to organise referrals to see a specialist, and even manage medical notes and prescription deliveries.

This new partnership with babylon is just one of many examples of how we are investing in online and digital services to meet demands for fast and easy access to healthcare.  We know the demand is there - three in five (58%) workers said they would be encouraged to think more about their health and wellbeing if their employer provided them with digital technology to help them to do this, and over half of people say they want to be able to book healthcare through an app.

Digital innovations such as these won’t just benefit the employee; we believe that organisations will benefit from a workforce that is engaged, productive, and overall more ‘appy.’

About Bupa

Bupa's purpose is helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives.

At Bupa, we have no shareholders. Our priority is looking after you... through our care homes, health insurance, health centres and dental centres. Bupa. Our focus is your health.

We have 15.7 million health insurance customers, provide healthcare to around 14.5 million people in our clinics and hospitals, and look after over 23,000 aged care residents.

We directly employ around 80,000 people, principally in the UK, Australia, Spain, Poland, Chile, New Zealand, Hong Kong, the USA, Brazil, the Middle East and Ireland, and many more through our associate businesses in Saudi Arabia and India.

Health insurance is around 73% of our business. In a number of countries, we also run clinics, dental centres, hospitals, and care homes and villages.

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