- Wearable technologies firm Fitbit announced cost savings for two companies that use its corporate wellness program.
- Springbuk, an employer-facing health intelligence platform, reported 25% lower costs ($1,300 less) per employee who opted into the Fitbit program.
- Self-insured Dayton Regional Transit Authority saved $2.3 million over two years, on a projected spend of $15.5 million, after enrolling employees in the program.
In addition to the cost savings, the studies showed improved outcomes. For example, DRTA employees who used Fitbit saw their LDL cholesterol and glucose levels decline, on average, by 12 points and 17 points, respectively.
But a recent study published in JAMA suggests wearable technologies may not add any benefit in helping people lose weight. “Devices that monitor and provide feedback on physical activity may not offer an advantage over standard behavioral weight loss approaches,” they concluded. Those who used wearables lost 5.29 less on average compared to patients that used a website to monitor their diet.
Wearables are being used more and more to track health information despite the uncertainty about their efficiency. Yet Fitbit's results suggest self-monitoring with wearables in a work setting can yield positive results. The consulting firm PwC asked consumers in a 2016 survey if they would be interested in sharing information from a wearable device with different types of businesses and nearly two-thirds expressed interest in sharing information with doctors’ offices, hospitals and insurance companies.