updated 12:49 pm EDT, Tue July 8, 2014
Company saves $280,000 annually on premiums with Fitbit employee data
Companies are increasingly turning to fitness wearables like the Fitbit to help reduce costs. Cloud services firm Appirio launched a wellness program it calls CloudFit, and provided the Fitbit device to 400 of its employees. As a reward for employee health data tracking, the company re-negotiated its employee health coverage rates, and saved $280,000 annually, over five percent of its annual bill.
Appirio has 1,000 employees, with 450 in central offices in San Francisco, Indianapolis in the US and a site in India. The rest of the company is scattered across the world. The company offers technology and professional services to companies wishing to adopt public cloud applications such as offerings from Salesforce.com, Google Apps, and Amazon Web Services.
Anthem Insurance provided Appirio $20,000 to launch the program, and the funds were used to purchase the wearables. One quarter of the employees given the device opted to share how many steps per day that they take, but declined other information, such as sleep habits.
"We're spending in the tens of thousands for something that will get us hundreds of thousands in savings," said the CEO of Appirio Chris Barbin. "More important is the collaboration we get. People want to do stuff together. As a virtual company, this is a way to do that while attacking wellness."
Anthem awarded the reduction in the company's premiums after the data was shared from the CloudFit program. The insurance firm gave another $20,000 to the firm to further grow the program, and Appirio is hoping for another five percent reduction in premium cost in the coming year if possible.