Valentino Santoni

Digital health in company-based social insurance programs: investments, opportunities, and risks

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Occupational Welfare; Company-Based Welfare; Work-Life Balance Measures; Digital Health; E-Health.

Over the last decades, the Italian welfare state faced several challenges: budgetary consolidation and financial austerity, changes in the structure of social risks and needs, the effects of the 2008 financial crisis, and the Great Recession. In this context, welfare state «recalibration» is taking place mainly outside the public sector; this calls for greater attention on what is going on in the market, and at the civil society level. Private companies - through so-called «occupational welfare» initiatives - are one of the main actors of the «recalibration» process. By means of company-based social protection measures, companies can indeed mobilize additional resources to respond to emerging, unmet social needs. As to ICT, by resorting to hi-tech apps and devices aimed at enhancing workers' social wellbeing, private organizations candevelop new forms of social intervention. In this context, several companies are starting to invest in digital health, i.e. the application of digital hardware and software in the health and welfare sectors. But what is the current development of digital health in companybased welfare? What are the concrete opportunities, and the potential risks for the future? Based on a qualitative approach, the article addresses these questions by examining two recent experiences: a) the case of Siemens Italia, that is implementing several apps for health monitoring; and b) the project by Generali Italia and H-Farm, aimed at supporting start-ups able to link company-based welfare and digital health.

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