Qualcomm believes that mobile changes everything. We see a future of total connectivity where high-speed wireless networks connect everything from phones, tablets, sensors, and wellness and medical devices to individuals, their social networks and their health care teams of choice. We are evolving our employee health care programs to embrace mobile connectivity, drive patient and caregiver engagement, enhance the patient experience, improve clinical outcomes, and reduce cost.
With a 2012 launch, Qualcomm was an early adopter of telemedicine (for acute care needs) as an employee benefit. Ninety percent of our users report having a good experience with this mobile point of care alternative, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Almost two-thirds of users indicated that they would have otherwise sought care in the emergency room or at an urgent care center; the program has resulted in a 0.4 percent reduction to our health plan claim costs in the United States.
The Qualcomm Health Center (QHC) is driving many of our health care delivery innovation efforts. While electronic health records and e-prescribing have been used since 2007, we upgraded our platform in 2013 to include eCare video and phone visits, online scheduling, secure clinical communications, and medical-record access for employees. The upgrade also enabled select community providers and the QHC to share medical records to better coordinate care, improve patient safety and reduce costs associated with duplicate testing.
In 2011, the QHC became the first clinical center to launch Qualcomm’s 2Net technology to enable wireless sharing of glucose readings between patients and clinicians. Ninety-one percent of participating diabetic employees found that the data positively impacted their health, and 100 percent said it informed discussions with their physician. With diabetics in our health plan costing twice as much as nondiabetics and with diabetes prevalence increasing in our aging population, the ability to improve engagement and management of our diabetic members is a priority for Qualcomm.
Of equal priority is the prevention of diabetes and other lifestyle-related conditions. Our vision of “a thriving global community of Qualcomm employees engaged in engineering their health and health care for all” is rooted in the idea that better health outcomes are achieved when we partner with our employees to find solutions to pressing personal and industry-wide health concerns. Qualcomm sponsors up to five annual employee research proposals that address questions of interest in the areas of mobile technology and sustained health behavior change, most recently completing a study with a Qualcomm team who investigated the impact of a step and sleep tracker on productivity.
Qualcomm’s ultimate goal is to support a healthy, thriving workforce. By integrating the best of technologic advances with emerging sources of big data and personalized data, we intend to enable our employees to be better informed health care consumers through access to health quality and cost information, to drive provider value through innovative performance-based contracts, and to demonstrate improved health outcomes through proven best-in-class health services.