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Many wellness apps and programs require a health questionnaire to sign up, one that asks employees for information they may not otherwise share. (Image: Shutterstock)

With the start of 2018, workers across the United States are revitalizing efforts to lead healthier lives. For some, that means diving into employer-sponsored wellness programs, many of which utilize apps. But there’s still serious, growing concern that workplace wellness apps could violate privacy rules around users’ health data — a risk that in-house teams can help mitigate.

Wellness programs became popular under the Affordable Care Act, which allowed employers to offer seriously discounted health insurance premiums to workers who participated. The data collected varies depending on the app used, but it ranges from vital signs, to hours of sleep, to step counts. Many wellness apps and programs also require a health questionnaire to sign up, one that asks employees for information they may not otherwise share. 

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