Although strides have been made in the incorporation of onsite health centers into employer wellness packages, there are still significant gaps between the services that onsite health centers currently offer and the service packages which will allow them to realize a strong return on investment by lower insurance costs.
The goal of our project was to create a prototype of a ubiquitous monitoring system that allows an onsite health center to collect data about employee health in order to increase timely utilization of health center services by employees. The prototype for this monitoring and communication system, termed Proactive Wellness Environmental Support System (PROWESS), will target three critical areas of health concern in the workplace: ergonomics, contagious diseases, and chronic conditions.
Making PROWESS Cost Effective
Although there will be an initial capital investment to outfit workstations with PROWESS sensors and software, these costs can be reclaimed by a company through reduced insurance costs for a healthier, more productive workforce. In order to aid in a strong return on investment, PROWESS sensor selection can be individualized and each employee’s work station can be outfitted with sensors to suit his/her health needs.
Outfitting workplace furniture with PROWESS Sensors
Although retrofitting office chairs and desks with PROWESS sensors will require the use of slip-cover style overlays and the installation of new temperature sensing pads on high contact surfaces, it is also possible for PROWESS to be integrated with furniture design. This will allow for sensing technology without compromising the design of the employee’s chair or desk.
Syncing Other Sensors with PROWESS
Several people already use sensors to help manage chronic diseases. For instance, someone with diabetes may have to use a blood sugar sensor several times throughout the day. In future phases, PROWESS will be able to sync with other health monitors in order to allow employees to view health data on a continuum and observe how different physiological symptoms coincide.