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    2023 Occupational Health Technology Trends

    • Published
    • 9 January 2023
    • Category
    • General

    Health technology is a rapidly evolving field with the potential to revolutionize the way we approach occupational health care. Some recent advances in health technology have already had a significant impact on the way medical conditions affecting working populations are prevented, diagnosed and treated.

    Wearables

    Wearable sensors that track movement are now widely available. These devices can be comfortably worn to monitor and reduce an employee’s risk for overuse injury while doing routine tasks. Related technology, such as alert meters, smart watches and apps, support changes in personal health behaviors by tracking fatigue, heart rate, sleep patterns, daily step counts, calories burned and other health-related data.

    WorkCare partners with tech companies to offer our clients access to comfortable, wearable devices that produce data used to inform health and safety interventions for individual workers, by job category and across an enterprise. Our Industrial Injury Prevention Specialists, who have training in sports medicine, ergonomics and wellness, apply insights they gain from collected data when coaching employees on safe work practices.

    Telehealth and Telemedicine

    Telehealth and telemedicine applications allow employees to consult with occupational health practitioners and personal providers from any location with a secure internet connection. During the pandemic when access to in-person care was limited, it became commonplace to “see” a medical or behavioral health professional via a telephonic or video connection. This is particularly beneficial for individuals with mobility issues or who have limited access to care.

    WorkCare’s Incident Intervention team provides 24/7 telephonic first-aid guidance on work-related injuries and illness at onset. During the call, our providers can view photos of an injury while evaluating and making care recommendations. In some cases, an employee may be referred to a local provider for further evaluation. In certain markets, employees may be given the option to be referred to WorkCare TeleM.D.™ for diagnosis and potential treatment by one of our occupational physicians.

    3D Printing

    This revolutionary technology is used to create customized medical devices and prosthetics tailored to an individual’s specific needs. For example, 3D printing can make it possible for employees with hearing loss or a physical disability to be fitted with a device that allows them to work more safely and make them better qualified for more types of jobs.

    WorkCare recently introduced a Portable Hearing Conversation Program for onsite testing that does not require an audio booth. The program features use of a clinically validated, portable audiometer that complies with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA 29 CFR 1910.95) regulations and American National Standards Institute (ANSI 23.6), U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada standards. The device is optimized for use in a quiet room – outside of a traditional sound booth. Tablet audiometry and paperless data management make it easy to transport, set up and use. When hearing loss is detected, an employee may be referred to a specialist to be fitted for a custom-made, in-the-ear hearing aid created using 3D technology.

    Artificial Intelligence (AI)

    By analyzing large amounts of data, AI can help employers and medical providers identify patterns and trends that may not be immediately apparent to humans. These data are used to identify exposure risks before they become a serious threat to health and safety, and improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment plans.

    WorkCare’s dedicated information technology team focuses on the development of user-friendly platforms to simplify data collection and facilitate employee health management. For example, our Medical Exams & Travel platform facilitates medical surveillance exam monitoring and scheduling at provider locations in our national network, helps ensure regulatory compliance for organizations and securely stores medical records as required by law. Our WorkMatters’ client portal allows employers and employees to access COVID-19 prevention and management applications and medical exam functions. While protecting the privacy of employees, we use these systems to help our clients create heathier, safer workplaces.

    To learn more about WorkCare’s services and technology partners, contact us.

    Charlette Washington is a WorkCare Marketing & Communications Specialist.

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