Tag Archives: proactive healthcare

Health tracking, incentives, corporate health culture BestInCorporateHeath.com

Health Tracking with Wearable Devices

Health Tracking – The #1 Way to Promote Proactive Healthcare

Health tracking, incentives, corporate health culture BestInCorporateHeath.comHealth tracking is the most motivating, effective form of  health support. I am devastated when I see articles knocking them down, even if unintentionally. Not all forms of health tracking are equal in terms of data  or capabilities. However, fitness trackers are powerful, and even if certain trackers may slack in certain areas – an all or none approach in anything, loses many people.

In my many years of medical fitness, corporate health….I have worked with thousands of people who feel helpless or just too busy and stressed to think about their health. I have also seen the power of fitness trackers, healthy competition -both with themselves and others.

Our wearable devices have come a very long way from the plastic pedometers in the Special K box of cereal. The variation between devices is immense. My goal here is to help sort through using the trackers effectively for adherence and sustainability, and choosing the right tracker for you or your employees.

Just an fyi…..I have looked over many of the lists comparing  available health trackers……very few of these lists present all the trackers available….I don’t know…..Maybe they don’t want to compare their favoured tracker to possible competition – beware. The truth is – when choosing a tracker – know the truth – know what is important to you. What biometrics and activity  would you like to track? What do you find the most motivating? What is within your budget? Some of the more celebrated devices do NOT supply the most thorough data, and are very expensive. Make your choice based on science and fact, not marketing budgets.

February 2017 study: HERO ( Health Enhancement Research Organization) Wearables in Wellness Case Study Report:

  • BP  started incorporating wearables in 2013.  More than 75% of eligible participants enrol in the company’s annual “Million Step Challenge,” and 79% reach their goal.
  • HERO report makes clear, wearables are most effective when employers understand their role in a larger wellness initiative………….“We see a lot of promise in the use of wearables as a component of a comprehensive workplace wellness program,” says Jessica Grossmeier, vice president of research for HERO. “Early research supports that a device, on its own, will not change health behaviors over the long term.”
  • Incorporate wearables into a broader program that goes beyond a single challenge focused on physical activity. Leverage interest in wearables to engage individuals in other health and well-being programs.
  • Provide ongoing enhancements to program design and engagement strategies, never allowing the program to feel stale.
  • Keep programs relevant and fresh by responding to program evaluation data and employee feedback to continuously improve your approach.
  • Develop goals and objectives for your program and leverage available wearables data to evaluate achievement of those goals.

Its unfortunate but the calorie somehow stole the spotlight with health and fitness. Yes, we must watch our calorie intake, and try to make sure the calories we consume feed us the nutrition we need. However, lets take a look at the painfully oversimplified equation:

Health tracking wearable devices BestInCorporateHealth.com
It’s Complicated….Very Complicated

Calories IN − Calories Burned we lose weight or gain weight

If only life were so simple….the truth is knowing these variables accurately……NO

It became very popular for many years for cardio respiratory equipment – treadmills, health tracking with wearable devices Best in Corporate Health
ellipticals, stair climbers, bikes…..to provide “calories burned”. This number is calculated based on the weight entered at the start  of the workout, age,  sometimes heart rate, duration of workout, effort…..et voila – we are told the calories we burned. Again – this is calculated based on some generalized superficial data, not on the individual and their metabolic rate and other unique data such as lean muscle mass or our basal metabolic rate.

Perhaps, in our wellness programs we should focus on optimizing our metabolism by fine tuning the many factors that sabotage our best efforts. Track those variables and behaviors. Many of our “best intentions” to improve our health – actually back fire on us – causing metabolic mayhem.

Many fitness trackers do not gather the data necessary to give an accurate number of calories burned – thats totally OK – however, do not depend on this number in making health decisions. Example: Your fitness tracker told you that you just burned 1,000 calories in that 1 hour at the gym……that, sorry to burst your bubble, is not very likely. Please don’t go out and have a hunk of red velvet cake based on those numbers.

A recent study by Stanford researchers demonstrated that most fitness trackers are not accurate with calorie expenditure data. As explained above, calorie expenditure is a calculated value – determined by a number of biomarkers. If the tracker does not measure those variables – it is not going to provide the most accurate measure of calorie expenditure. If accurate calorie expenditure is the important feature of health tracking for you, choose a tracker that measures the pertinent data to make that calculation.

Physical Inactivity is the new smoking. We need to get people physically active for mind, body and soul, for the future of our children and the future of our economy. Health tracking promotes:

  • health… proactive, predictive and chronic care health care
  • a productive workforce
  • a healthy economy
  • a solid pivotal position for creating wellness programs
  • creating health challenges and healthy competition motivating adherence
  • camaraderie
  • corporate health culture
  • family health
  • healthy lifestyle choices
  • good moods and happy hormones

I am in awe that we have the technology to really monitor our health – of course wearable devices  are not a replacement of medical advice and diagnostics – but they are an incredible way to take charge of our health, and finally make that move from our society of sick care to a society of true health care.

 

Chief Health Enthusiast – Best In Corporate Health

Shira Litwack, Corporate Program Designer
Shira Litwack, medical fitness professional, Cancer Exercise Specialist , Medical Exercise Specialist, Holistic Nutritionist

Employee Wellness Toronto, Ontario – But offered worldwide!

  • Shira is regularly consulted by Naturopaths, oncologists, health coaches on cancer exercise and exercise adherence.
  • Has assembled over 20 health and fitness professionals with varying specialties to bring to corporate wellness programs
  • Platforms include: Speaking, One-one/group health coaching, Retreats, Course development for in house delivery, Metrics to measure success available, Partners always included
  • Now offering live interactive webinars, just as if each participant has a personal health coach – making corporate wellness programs affordable to all.
  • Shira has been interviewed & published in hundreds of resources over the last 12 years:

Articles featured in: ezines, ArticlesInk, European Registry of Exercise Professionals, The National Post, Investment Executive Magazine, Directory of Greater Toronto, Canadian Leukemia & Lymphoma Association, Prostate Cancer Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Anytime Fitness, Today’s Black Woman, Today’s Seniors, Medical Fitness Network, FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Willow (Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support),Myeloma Canada, Cancer Exercise Training Institute, Urban Poling for Breast Cancer, ROW – Recovery on Water for Breast Cancer, Sirius XM Doctor Radio

Population Health Management with Technology

Population Health Management – Effectively Using Healthcare IT

I have read more garbled definitions for population health  management- so let’s try and simplify, and then apply to our own company’s scenarios.

Electronic patient records, electronic health records (EHR)  were huge when they started – that really started the cascade of what we now refer to as population health management. The options keep growing exponentially.

population health management Best In Corporate HealthMost typical definition: Population Health Management is the aggregation of patient data across multiple health information technology resources, the analysis of that data into a single, actionable patient record, and the actions through which care providers can improve both clinical and financial outcomes. In other words, we want to maximize the health of the employee by collecting and analyzing data by different providers in the most cost effective way possible. This by definition will improve the ROI.

Now – let’s break it down and understand what we as corporations can prosper from here.

Keeping our employees happy and healthy is the soundest asset investment we can support. 

We should be expanding population health management to far more than chronic disease management, we equally must encourage proactive health care. The potential ability of a provider to effectively manage the healthcare needs of a defined group across a range of healthcare services either through direct provision of care or through structured relationships with other providers will benefit both the employee and the company. Providers have strived for decades to turn our system from a “sick care” model to a truly “health care” model. An effective population health management system can transform healthcare from reactive and transactional to proactive and ongoing.

However, we must be able to provide the strictest of confidentiality to the employee, otherwise, the population health management model will fail. The threat of a data breach will undermine all of our best efforts of implementation. Mobile health (cell phone apps, fitbits….), telemedicine ( insulin pumps & other monitors that health care technicians can review remotely) and other health IT incentive programs – these technologies must be carefully used and monitored assuring cybersecurity. With all that said – as a corporate health provider for many years, I very strongly believe on these health IT incentives and monitors – they strongly enable participant adherence and success.

Its easy to get wrapped up and let in the maze of gadgets and health IT. Remember quality of care, in terms of proactive support and chronic disease management is the outcome that matters, in terms of health and ROI.

Employee Risk Assessment Best In Corporate Health
Not just lifestyle….Employee Risk assessments, Programs directed to illness prevention based on those risks, chronic disease management

We still need providers to interpret data, make health assessments and recommendations. This might be very obvious for chronic disease management, but is frequently overlooked and minimized on the proactive health care side of health management. A good wellness provider can identify  risks that needs to be pursued by a physician, catching potentially life threatening illnesses at a much earlier stage.  Health Risk Assessment.

Wellness Programs that  Save Companies Money….Actually..

Harvard Business Review:  Employee wellness programs were examined to see if they really cut employer costs. They concluded yes – however, the answer is not simple lifestyle programs; it’s programs that prevent at-risk employees from becoming ill and help chronically ill employees stabilize their conditions.

According to the CDC, currently the vast majority of people are at risk for disease.  “At risk” conditions are also reducing workplace productivity and engagement**. 

population health management saving corporate dollars Best In Corporate HealthA recent Rand study, “Do Workplace Wellness Programs Save Employers Money?”Examined 10 years of data from a Fortune 100 employer’s wellness program. When compared against the lifestyle-management component, disease management delivered 86% of the hard healthcare cost savings, generating $136 in savings per member, per month and a 30% reduction in hospital admissions.

Population health management with healthcare IT provide health specialists valuable tools for assessment, determination of health risks which saves lives and costs to all. Properly constructed, it can provide the employee the confidentiality they seek, and employers the tools to provide true healthcare to support their most valuable asset – their people.

** Employee Engagement vs. Talent Engagement:

With the advent of a new economy and workforce composition, we now have a  talent market. Companies are surrounded by a cloud of talent, coming from multiple sources: Temp workers, freelancers, contract workers, suppliers, … All of these talent resources need to be engaged  to help organizations to reach their objectives.

Shira@BestInCorporateHealth.com

We look forward to customizing your employee wellness programs!

The supplement like a flu shot against oxidative stress…..

Why are we not controlling chronic illness? We must control the wildfire of inflammation and lower oxidative stress. We know oxidative stress is at the root of chronic illness such as cancer, heart disease, depression, arthritis, stroke, diabetes. Inflammation ages us and leaves us susceptible to disease….We take a flu shot to prevent the flu – one simple supplement to lower your oxidative stress by as much as 40%.    7 patents, 24 peer reviewed studies on pubmed, accolades from American Heart Association, Mayo Clinic, National Institute on Aging….Washington State: “may well become the most extraordinary therapeutic and most extraordinary preventative breakthrough in the history of medicine.”

Shira Litwack, Corporate Program Designer
Shira Litwack, medical fitness professional, Cancer Exercise Specialist , Medical Exercise Specialist, Holistic Nutritionist, Corporate health designer and coach, Health and fitness educator

Chief Health Enthusiast – Best In Corporate Health

Employee Wellness Toronto, Ontario – But offered worldwide!

  • Shira is regularly consulted by Naturopaths, oncologists, health coaches on cancer exercise and exercise adherence.
  • Has assembled over 20 health and fitness professionals with varying specialties to bring to corporate wellness programs
  • Platforms include: Speaking, One-one/group health coaching, Retreats, Course development for in house delivery, Metrics to measure success available, Partners always included
  • Now offering live interactive webinars, just as if each participant has a personal health coach – making corporate wellness programs affordable to all.
  • Shira has been interviewed & published in hundreds of resources over the last 12 years:

Articles featured in: ezines, ArticlesInk, European Registry of Exercise Professionals, The National Post, Investment Executive Magazine, Directory of Greater Toronto, Canadian Leukemia & Lymphoma Association, Prostate Cancer Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Anytime Fitness, Today’s Black Woman, Today’s Seniors, Medical Fitness Network, FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Willow (Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support),

Cancer Exercise Training Institute, Urban Poling for Breast Cancer, ROW – Recovery on Water for Breast Cancer

Shira Litwack, Medical fitness professional |Cancer Exercise Specialist|Personal & Corporate Health Coach | Fitness For Disease Recovery| Industry Expert Cancer Exercise

Director of International Relations Cancer Exercise Training Institute Master Trainer

Radio talk show host/Guest/Producer Health & Fitness Radio