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When Using Wellness Technology, Follow the Rules

07/27/17

  03:20:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 261 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Compliance

When Using Wellness Technology, Follow the Rules

wearable fitness tracker

FitBits and other wearable fitness trackers are popular incentives for worksite wellness programs, but employers need to exercise caution about how data from these devices is used, according to new rules from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

A recent International Foundation survey found that the promotion of wellness-related technology in the workplace is expected to increase in the next two years. But when an employer integrates such technology into a wellness program, it must be sure that any information collected through such devices is being used for legal purposes.

At issue for wearable fitness trackers is not the number of steps recorded but rather personal data collected, such as heart rate, activity levels, and sleep patterns. Additionally, care must be taken to ensure that applicable rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Affordable Care Act, and other laws are being followed.

MedBen's internal wellness efforts include a walking program in which employees can use wearable fitness trackers or use their smartphones to monitor their progress. However, rather than download data from these devices, participants simply provide our Human Resources department with a printout or screen capture of their daily steps. In this manner, we can be certain that we respect the participants' privacy, while still rewarding them for achieving the minimum number of steps.

MedBen takes wellness seriously, and our expertise extends to helping clients comply with wellness laws. MedBen WellLiving clients who have questions about wellness-related technology or any other aspect of their employee wellness program are welcome to contact Vice President of Compliance Caroline Fraker at 800-851-0907 or cfraker@medben.com.

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