ARTICLE | EMBRACING AI

How AI & Technology Can Elevate Human-Based Support Models

Written by: Steven Lee

 

Advancements in technology including AI have brought endless innovation and creativity to every area of our lives. How can this innovation change the way we think about employee support benefits, such as caregiver support?

There’s so much to say about how AI technology like ChatGPT has impacted everything we do today. While it is still in its infancy, we are at a watershed moment where AI and other innovative technologies can be applied to improve efficiency and effectiveness– especially when it comes to benefits solutions.

How should we be thinking about the power of technology when it comes to the most common challenges employees face? From childcare to mental health, and family caregiving, these can all feel quite daunting to address.

Even in a world full of tech-powered efficiency, employee benefits have remained traditional in approach. When it comes to care-related benefits, employers continue to see low utilization and engagement. Why?

First, because many rely on the power of independent work powered by human beings. This has proven to be unscalable and inefficient.

Second, because these solutions haven’t been built in a user-first or friendly way.

But it’s when the power of technology and human-driven support come together that we can create real innovation, resulting in higher engagement and utilization. And we’ve proven this with clinically validated results.

So, we know integrating tech + human support is proven and effective. But let’s dig into how technology can play a part in employee benefit solutions, especially care-related benefits like caregiver support, where human solutions are so prominent.

If you think about your own experiences, I’m sure many of us have opted to search for an FAQ article or find a “DIY” solution in an airline’s app before daring to take the time to connect and engage with a support resource via phone call or in person. Often times, it’s a more convenient approach and feels like a lighter lift.

Today’s benefits have to reflect these behavioral changes. When we gate access to support & resources behind human experts, we create an experience filled with friction, making employees less likely to engage overall.

It’s important to recognize that although technology can increase efficiency, there is a line where it begins to impact the empathetic and human touch caregivers need. At ianacare, we know that 1-1, concierge-level access to experts is essential to caregivers. Our investment in technology elevates the impact our Navigators can have in 1-1 interactions with caregivers, by making their processes and access to resources in the background cleaner, easier to navigate, and more reliable.

This data point really comes to life when we think about the realistic moments in a caregiving journey. 

Marina, a full-time brand manager at a large consumer goods company, was caring for her mom as she recovered from a stroke.

During recovery, Marina’s mom was living with her, and no longer able to drive herself to and from appointments.

Marina had been driving her mother to and from doctor’s appointments for the past few weeks, but at 9 PM one night, realized she had completely forgotten about an appointment the following morning.

On this particular day, her meeting schedule wouldn’t allow for her to be offline to drive her mother herself, so she immediately logged into her ianacare app to search a database of vetted and local resources offering transportation assistance. By 9:15 PM, Marina found a state-sponsored medical transport service that serviced her neighborhood and scheduled a ride for her mother through their website.

Without this powerful self-serve function, Marina would have had to wait until the morning to get in touch with her Care Navigator and wait to hear back about the best options, which likely wouldn’t have happened in time to make her mother’s appointment.

Technology ensures that caregivers can access critical support instantly when it’s needed, while also creating trackable and measurable insights for employers to understand engagement and impact.

Innovative technologies like AI and ChatGPT allow us to improve the more manual processes that are inevitably a part of every caregiving journey– including research, information gathering, and curation of resources.

While new technology like AI opens a world of possibilities for efficiency and innovation, we do have to remember that any engaging and effective support benefit will need to have a combination of technological features alongside personalized human interaction. One cannot be successful without the other.

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