How Artificial Intelligence In Healthcare Engages Employees Through Strong Health Advocacy

Mar 29,2022

Read Time 4 Minutes

Digital healthcare technology is advancing so rapidly that it's blending into the background of everyday life. Robotic surgery is becoming a norm, wearable devices measure our heartbeats and sleep cycles, and your employees can refill prescriptions and schedule calls with member services just by talking to Alexa devices. It’s all made possible, in part, by artificial intelligence (AI) — and that same level of innovation could improve healthcare outcomes for your employees.

Powered by predictive analytics and machine learning, artificial intelligence could not only optimize your health benefits, but it also may lead to a healthier workforce. Experts estimate that AI could boost healthcare outcomes through improved decision making and proactive interventions. This could also generate significant savings across the board — for doctors and benefit providers as well as for employers and employees. Here's how three applications of AI could impact employee health.


1. Transforming The HR Benefits Experience


Choosing health benefits can be overwhelming — and many employees end up selecting more coverage than they really need. That costs them — and you. As the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports, AI-powered decision making tools can give employees confidence in choosing the best plan for their needs during open enrollment. With a few basic inputs such as family size, expected number of doctor visits, and their capacity to pay out-of-pocket costs, your employees can save themselves and your company money.


Even after they choose a plan, employees may have questions about claims, deductibles, or even adding a newborn baby. To help employees find answers quickly and improve satisfaction, benefit providers are tapping into the power of AI in customer service. According to a 2021 report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, 86% of companies that have fully embraced AI have been able to create better customer experiences, compared to just 67% of others.


This high level of customer service is hard to achieve with human-powered service alone. With AI-based systems, your employees can enjoy a seamless, more efficient experience, and you can benefit from a satisfied workforce that's equipped with the right tools to make the most of their health and their health benefits.



2. Tailoring Wellness Services For Whole-Person Care


Deploying a one-size-fits-all wellness program may not be the most effective approach to employee well-being. Instead, what if you could provide wellness-centered benefits that support an employee’s individual needs and wellness goals, such as addressing chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease?


Here again, AI and machine learning can help make this possible. With its capacity to instantly spot trends and patterns in claims, AI can suggest timely, relevant, and impactful solutions to improve health. Going one step further, it can also use claims-based algorithms to screen for common chronic conditions, helping you work with employees to treat and possibly even prevent those issues altogether.


For example, a prediabetic employee might receive glucose management support, or someone with high cholesterol may get access to heart health resources. Advanced analytics solutions such as Total Health, Total You  connect the dots early —integrating clinical, behavioral, financial, and social factors to cultivate whole-person care. Foreseeing health risks enables proactive intervention and behavior change which can lead to lower costs of care over time.


3. Achieving Time, Resource, And Cost Efficiencies


Sorting through health benefits data, such as claims and prior authorization requests, has historically been a time-intensive manual process. Managed Healthcare Executive describes how machine learning could expedite the process. For example, machine learning can help physicians and patients obtain updates on authorization requests through an app — thereby avoiding time-consuming follow-up phone calls.


For employers, machine learning might help identify components of a health plan that are underused. From there, AI could suggest data-informed ways to optimize those components or cut them entirely and reinvest the savings into something that employees might need more, such as support with long-term mental health challenges. This increases the value of your health plan. What's more, AI could also be a powerful partner in the fight against healthcare fraud, a multibillion-dollar problem that results in higher costs of care for everyone. 


Powerful AI tools like the SydneySM Health mobile app also offer the opportunity for cost savings for employers and employees by providing convenient services like virtual primary care and symptom checkers. Across the board, AI can help save time, generate cost efficiencies, and foster a healthier, more productive workforce.


As artificial intelligence and advanced healthcare technology continue to expand into the world of employee benefits, it should drive transformative impacts for businesses who choose to stay on the leading edge of the trend and for the employees who keep the workplace humming.


Sydney Health is offered through an arrangement with Carelon Digital Platforms, a separate company offering mobile application services on behalf of your health plan ©2020-2022. The Virtual Primary Care experience is offered through an arrangement with Hydrogen Health.