According to BioBeat’s information, mental health now accounts for most of the sickness absence in the UK. For a company of 10 employees, the cost of absenteeism from ill-mental health could be more than £15,000 a year. For a 200 person company, that rockets to £312,000! In total they estimate sickness due to mental health costs UK employers up to £42 billon per year!
Obviously, employers will be concerned not just about the financial cost, but the happiness, safety and wellbeing of their colleagues, too.
As mentioned in the previous post, 1 in 4 UK citizens will suffer from mental health problems each year, and beyond their own personal wellbeing cost of that, there is an impact on their relationships, friends and families. Mentalhealth.org.uk suggests that if you were to consider not just those experiencing the specific issues, but those who care for them too, then the impact to the country’s GDP could be much more significant.
The cost to UK GDP of workers either leaving the workforce entirely, or going part time in order to care for someone with a mental health problem, was £5.4 billion in 2015, with over 91% of this amount being due to those leaving the labour force entirely – MentalHealth.org.uk
Enabling the employers to better understand and support the mental wellbeing of their staff can have a far bigger positive impact than just finances.
Let’s look how BioBeats’ BioBase platform could help.
Providing Proactive Mental Health Care
BioBeats’ approach engages both the employee and employer in understanding mental health and improving wellbeing. Whilst the technology collects very personal data from each of the employees, BioBeats realises the importance of anonymising data that is shared with the employer. The dashboard they provide to the employer shows current snapshots and trends of mental health and wellbeing across the organisation, but only in an aggregated, highly anonymous view.
From an employee’s point of view there’s a very clear value proposition – using the technology you become more aware of how your daily habits, behaviours, interactions and environments affect your mind and body. With that information you can take control, making changes that can help you feel better and achieve more.
What is BioBase and How Does it Work?
BioBase consists of three components;
- The platform server which provides the logic, artificial intelligence and slick user-interfaces
- Digital content, including digital therapeutics and biofeedback therapy. (To you and me that’s prompts and surveys in the app to get users to breathe, meditate, and feedback on how they feel)
- An app and a wearable device (like a FitBit type of thing)
From the wearable device, BioBase collects information about the user’s sleep patterns, their physical activity, heart rate variability and rhythm.
Combining the physical data with the digital therapeutics, which identify moods and cognitive function, BioBase is able to calculate an individual wellbeing score. This score varies through the day, over the course of the weeks and months, and is naturally, highly personal.
Using AI to Move to Predictive Interventions
Where this gets really interesting is how BioBeats is able to use artificial intelligence machine learning techniques to look at the aggregated, anonymous data sets and use this to provide early warning signals to the employers that mental wellbeing might be about to decline.
No one likes to think AI will be combing through their data, making judgements about their health without their permission or understanding. Therefore, ensuring user privacy will be of utmost importance, and I would love to speak with BioBeats to find out how they do this.
With this powerful insight, employers can make adjustments to working practices or environments to intervene early and prevent significant deterioration in employee wellbeing and mental health sickness.
Holistic, predictive data like this means the treatment of mental health in the workplace can move from a reactive practice on opaque anecdotes, to preventative data-driven action, creating a first line of defence, mental-health-first-aid, if you like.
Does it work?
BioBeats’ case study of a 700 employee UK pharma company showed that over a period of four months in 2019 during the most difficult time of year, of the user group who were using BioBase, there were zero absences for stress or anxiety. Whereas, the group of employees that were not using BioBase saw an increase in Stress and Anxiety sick-days of 226%.
Sick days for
More information on BioBeats
Founded in 2012, BioBeats is a London UK company that has raised more than $6M through six rounds of investment. In April 2020 BioBeats was acquired by Huma.com for an undisclosed sum.
To find out more, visit BioBeats.com.