HITLAB RESEARCH

Building and Deploying a Tech-Enabled Wellness Program at a Large Employer

Client

Boehringer Ingelheim

Services

Rapid pilot test, study design, panel survey, ethnographic research, semi-structured interview, whitepaper production, infographic design

Challenge

Lots of excitement, little evidence.

HITLAB worked with Boehringer to design and launch a workplace wellness program that paired a Jawbone UP activity tracker with a supportive wellness program. Then, HITLAB conducted a validation study of the program at Boehringer’s campus. Close to 600 employees were enrolled in a formal research study and asked to participate in the program for a 9 month period. 

Solution

Building and deploying a tech-enabled wellness program.

HITLAB worked with Boehringer to design and launch a workplace wellness program that paired a Jawbone UP activity tracker with a supportive wellness program. Then, HITLAB conducted a validation study of the program at Boehringer’s campus. Close to 600 employees were enrolled in a formal research study and asked to participate in the program for a 9 month period. 

Impact

False assumptions, but with a silver lining.

Despite high expectations, no change was seen in activity levels, measured by steps per day, over the study period. Without evidenced improvements in this key metric, Boehringer chose to forego a considerable investment in the program, avoiding losses in an arena that other investors later found to be lackluster. 

The deployment also unearthed new opportunities for wearables that later proved to predict where the overall industry was moving. Employees in the study who selected to use the device to support doctor-recommended and medical goals saw improved activity levels, indicating a clinical use case for the product. The market for wearables today reflects this insight, as many wearable companies pivoted their consumer-facing products to medical-grade devices. Sleep levels improved across the entire cohort, suggesting that wearables can be used to support healthy sleep, a lesser-understood but important preventive health behavior that is now being explored more deeply in wearables made by Apple and others.
 

Interested in taking the next step? We'd love to hear from you!