Tech a key ally in monitoring physical and mental health

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Technology, especially wearables, will play a key role in helping organisations across the UAE monitor the physical and mental health of their employees, new data has shown.

According to the results of a study by Aetna International, whether it is via smart watches, fitness trackers or applications, 75 per cent of UAE employees believe that their employer can help them manage physical health better through technology, while 66 per cent say the same of their mental health. Additionally, 75 per cent believe access to physical health services provided by their employer through their phone would help them manage physical health better, while 64 per cent said the same for mental health services.

David Healy, CEO of Aetna International, EMEA region, said: "Technology has not only revolutionised how we collaborate, communicate and work, but also how organisations help support and improve employee health and well-being. Particularly in the current climate, high-tech, high-touch corporate well-being strategies that include apps, devices, and virtual access to care services are high on the list of employee demands. Businesses have a significant opportunity to embrace technology and innovation and fundamentally change their values, culture and approach to employee health."

The results of the study also showed that 87 per cent of employees would willingly share their health data to help improve health and wellness benefits offered across the business; while 80 per cent said that they would share their health data if it were to help their business to offer more personalised health benefits. In addition, 80 per cent also said they would share personal health data if it helped to improve company culture, while 82 per cent would do so to help improve workplace policies.

Earlier in April, the National Programme for Happiness and Wellbeing (NPHW) launched a national campaign for mental support for all UAE residents to help them overcome the psychological impact resulting from the spread of Covid-19. More than 50 experts in the fields of psychology, mental and social support are participating in the National Campaign for Mental Support - an online initiative using modern digital solutions and social media channels.

Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness and Wellbeing, and Director-General of the UAE Prime Minister's Office, stated that people's security, safety and wellbeing are top priorities for the UAE's leadership, which demand promoting national efforts to help people face the global challenge of Covid-19.

She added that, under the current circumstances, mental support is a basic need, and that the NPHW launched the national campaign to meet a vital community requirement. It aims to help all community members cope with the current challenges by providing them with mental support, leveraging the experience of a group of distinguished experts and mental health professionals.

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Rohma Sadaqat

I am a reporter and sub-editor on the Business desk at Al Khaleej Today. I mainly cover and write articles on the UAE's retail, hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.Originally from Lahore, I have been living in the UAE for more than 20 years. I graduated with a BA in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, and a double minor in History and International Studies from the American University of Sharjah.If you see me out and about on assignment in , feel free to stop me, say hello, and we can chat about the latest kitten videos on YouTube.

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