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Brits willing to wear devices that detect mental health conditions

15 February 2018

A new survey has revealed that over half (51 per cent) of British workers would be willing to wear a device that may detect the early signs of mental health symptoms, provided their employer would supply the device.

The survey, commissioned by AXA and conducted by YouGov, also revealed that 41 per cent of the workforce in this country has experienced some form of mental health condition in the workplace. 

For employers, health-tech can provide useful information to help reduce workforce absenteeism and increase productivity and 45 per cent of people would be willing to share the information gathered by health-tech if it helped with employee wellbeing strategies. 

Responses also showed that of people who have suffered from mental health issues in the workplace, 52 per cent have never discussed their situation with their employer. However of the 48 per cent who did speak to their manager, 71 per cent found the results supportive or helpful. 

Representatives from NHS England, the mental health charity Mind, academia and business leaders recently discussed these findings at an AXA Health Tech & You Roundtable: Managing Mental Wellbeing in the Workplace, Can Health Tech Help?  

Key points that arose from this discussion included:

  • Trust: A culture of trust should be established in the workplace with regards to wearing personal health tech to monitor mental wellbeing. 
  • Support: Health tech should be used to complement existing  face-to-face support for employees not replace human interaction
  • Holistic Approach: The health and wellbeing of individuals should not just focus on the workplace environment, but take into consideration their wider lifestyle outside of the workplace that may contribute to mental wellbeing.
  • Implementation: Tech to support mental wellbeing should be implemented on a personal basis and involve senior management discussing openly their commitment to support those with a mental health condition.
  • Accreditation: Any health tech to be used should be accredited to ensure quality, efficacy and safety for employees.

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