How digital health solutions can boost retention

American workers are eager for mobile tools to help them quickly connect to medical care.
By: | February 24, 2020 • 2 min read
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Some organizations are rolling out an unusual employee-retention strategy: digital health solutions.

More than one quarter (27%) of workers responding to a recent global survey say they’re much less or less likely to move to another company if their employer promotes or sponsors digital health solutions, such as an app to locate providers or access to virtual healthcare. Likewise, 48% would have more confidence in a digital health solution if it were offered by their employer.

The Health on Demand survey, which was recently conducted by Mercer Marsh Benefits, Mercer and Oliver Wyman, attracted responses from 16,564 workers and 1,300 employers in 13 global markets.


“It’s long been the status quo that employers are the source of healthcare and healthcare information,” says Kate Brown, leader of the Center for Health Innovation at Mercer. “So, when employers put a program in front of their employees in terms of digital health, it’s coming from a trusted source.”

Respondents ranked 15 specific digital health solutions based on their personal value. The top U.S. and global employee solution (39%) is an app that “helps find the right doctor or medical care when and where needed.” Next on American workers’ list is personal or family portable, electronic medical records (38%), followed by telemedicine (36%) and wearable technology for self-managing health conditions (36%).

However, U.S. employers (58%) rated portable, electronic medical records as their No. 1 choice, followed by telemedicine (52%), an app to find healthcare providers (45%) and then wearable technology (44%).