For more than a year, researchers across the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s (UNC) Kenan-Flagler Business School (KFBS) and School of Medicine (SOM) worked with Sharecare, Inc. (Sharecare) to establish a framework for measuring the true value of corporate well-being interventions and develop a measurement tool to quantify their impact over time. The goal of the research was to assess the value of implementing corporate well-being interventions to improve employee health and lower direct medical costs to employers. Though digital well-being companies often publicly market potential cost savings associated with utilization of their products, verifying this value through measurement remains a common industry challenge due to misalignment between digital health interventions, individual health and disease trajectories, and financial evaluation techniques.
In this paper, we discuss the benefits of leveraging a value on investment (VOI) framework rather than traditional return on investment (ROI) methodologies to assess corporate well-being solutions. Though ROI evaluation techniques are ubiquitous across industry and align to other corporate enterprise-wide investments (e.g., technology, workforce solutions, people services), they lack the flexibility to properly evaluate behavioral interventions because they neglect the toll of disease on individuals and companies and undervalue disease prevention by excluding downstream impacts (e.g., employee illness days or poor performance related to illness) in the analysis. We highlight the benefits of a VOI framework, discuss the measurement tool created by the UNC research team, and present a corporate use case to illustrate how companies can measure the true value of well-being interventions within their population.