Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How Might Wearable Computing Influence People Management Software

I got a  Fitbit as a gift sometime back and have started tracking my daily exercise routine. I wear a wrist band which syncs my activities such as walking and sleep patterns to an app on my phone and laptop. This device significantly changed the way I exercise. I like the simple goals and the clear tracking which is always available on my mobile device. Having instant insight into my daily routine helps me make simple decisions like should I walk to the store to get milk or should I take the car.

It got me thinking about how this information can be used by my company, with my permission, to provide me with some benefits. If I give my company's HR system access to this information, will my health insurance premium go down? Will my premium be adjusted every month based on my activities that month?

I wondered how hard it might be for SuccessFactors Employee Central to connect with Fitbit and get the information for every employee and provide a clear benefit for those who have healthy habits.

Should this information be tracked in the annual performance management system, if I agree to share this information.

Can such information for a group of employees in a campus affect the menu of the cafeteria in that campus?

If my ergonomics team has access to this information, can they intervene and make recommendations about my work habits. For example, can they suggest that I not sit at my desk continuously for a long time?

I also wondered if my primary care physician can access my information, with my permission, and advise me on what I could do differently.

Very interesting possibilities.

After I posted this, my colleague and friend +Eduardo Salamanca de Diego,  who leads co-innovation at SuccessFactors, pointed out that FitBit does have a coporate welness programs. We discussed that it might be worthwhile to explore the possibility of an integration with SuccessFactors Employee Central. Show the activity details of a person as part of their profile. May be pull the fitness data into SuccessFactors Analytics and look for correlation between physical activities and performance at work among other things.

My Friend +Manoj Parthasarathy emailed me saying that his employer Accenture does have a corporate Wellness program and rewards employees with cash for reaching certain goals such as 10,000 steps everyday. He confirmed that the program changed his daily habits and improved his health.

FitBit does seem to use our addiction to mobile devices and numbers to improve our overall health.

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