Print Friendly, PDF & Email

What Price Wellness? Dataviz Shows Economics of Wellness and Disease

There is a wealth of data that shows the value to companies of investing in employee health. It is not always easy to communicate it coherently and encourage employees to participate in wellness programs. GE Healthcare’s X-Ray business and Health Economics team have made an attempt to get it across in pictures.

The GE Healthcare Health Economics team set out to draw attention to the clinical and economic value of technology in employee wellness in a visually compelling way. Collating data from disparate sources, the “Clinical and Economic Value of Wellness” data-visualization covers the major global chronic disease burdens, and illustrates the estimated effect of digital health technology on company revenue and savings to public and private healthcare providers.

“We are currently working to understand the role of healthcare technologies in this equation,” Raquel Cabo, in GE Healthcare’s Health Economics & Outcomes Research team, says. “With this dataviz, we want to show what wellness is, what it addresses, the economic and clinical benefits it can offer, and the value of technology in its delivery.”

While the data are compelling, getting employees to take part is another question: US-wide, only 5% of eligible employees currently take part in their companies’ wellness programs.

GE Healthcare walks the talk

“Taking part in wellness programs improves quality of life and can lower risk factors for chronic disease,” Travis Haws, the director GE Healthcare’s employee wellness program, says.

Known as HealthAhead, it is a GE-wide program, and it comes with all the rigor and metrics for which GE is well-known. But success rests on more than tools, systems and programs that help people live more healthily and make smarter choices about healthcare.

“Driving employee health is about creating a culture of health, not just implementing healthy policies and programs. It’s about the collective effort the company, we as employees, and our families, make toward better, healthier living, for ourselves and for a stronger GE,” Travis says.

HealthAhead was launched in 2009, with all 78 GE Healthcare sites with more than 100 employees now having HealthAhead programs in place and having been ‘certified’.

“Having started with the larger populations, we are now working with our smaller sites, with fewer than 100 people, to give them a framework to become HealthAhead certified as well,” Travis says.


Helping people stay healthy can help companies reduce healthcare costs. Download data visualization