Emergent technologies can help monitor, treat, and control chronic disease in ways previously unimaginable.

Skyrocketing health care costs are making employers sick. The US spends $3.8 trillion on health care every year; 90% of it is spent on care for chronic conditions. Historically, employers have viewed support for five chronic conditions as table stakes to help mitigate health care costs, promote employee retention and improve overall quality of life. Making inroads here can result in huge financial impact: the CDC estimates that lost productivity due to five primary risk factors—high blood pressure, diabetes, physical inactivity, obesity, and smoking—cost employers more than $36 billion annually.

That number is only expected to grow. The pandemic has all but ensured that behavioral health, oft ignored, will emerge as a sixth vital chronic care condition. Pervasive fear of contracting the virus, unprecedented job losses and general income and food insecurity has exacerbated mental health concerns. Individuals are reporting greater levels of stress, anxiety and depression than ever before. McKinsey estimates that the COVID-19 pandemic could result in a 50% increase in the prevalence of behavioral health issues. So much so that up to one in three Americans could need to seek care in 2021. This is expected to cost employers an additional $100 billion to $140 billion in 2021 alone.

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