123RF.com/Elnur Amikishiyev

More than half (54 per cent) of Canadian employers said they’re planning to invest more in digital health solutions in the next five years, according to a new survey by Mercer Marsh Benefits, Mercer and Oliver Wyman.

The survey, which polled 100 employers and 1,000 employees in Canada, also found 42 per cent of employees said they’d be interested in an app that helps them find a doctor or medical care when and where they need it, while 36 per cent said they’d be interested in telemedicine for simple issues such as a cold or rash.

Read: Younger Canadians more likely to want employer-provided virtual health care: survey

In addition, a quarter (26 per cent) of employee respondents said they’d be less likely to move jobs if their employer invested in digital health benefits. And 48 per cent said they’d be more or much more confident in digital health and well-being solutions promoted by their employer.

Among employer respondents, 64 per cent said investing in digital health and well-being solutions will have a positive impact on staff energy levels, while 40 per cent said promoting and sponsoring digital health solutions will help with staff retention.

“This study shows what we, and employers, have known for a long time: investment in digital health benefits helps to bolster the bottom line,” said Julie Duchesne, Canada leader for Mercer Marsh Benefits, in a press release. “Health benefits compare favourably with other benefits when it comes to influence on employment decisions. It’s no wonder that more than half of Canadian employers expect to invest more in digital health over the next five years.”

Read: CAA Club Group adding virtual care to benefits plan

The survey also found 69 per cent of employee respondents said they have a great deal or some trust in their employer to keep their personal health information secure, while 19 per cent said they have a little trust and just nine per cent said they have no trust at all.

Employees said they’d be willing to share their personal health data to ensure their medical care is the highest possible quality (59 per cent), to receive health services tailored to their personal situation (50 per cent) and to have access to more convenient ways to receive health services (34 per cent).


When asked what might make them reticent to try a digital health technology, workers’ most common concern was the lack of human attention (44 per cent), followed by having no personal need for the solution (41 per cent) and not trusting the solution’s data privacy or security (40 per cent).

Read: Majority of Canadians would take advantage of virtual doctor visits: survey

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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