17/09/2015 13:00 BST | Updated 16/09/2016 06:12 BST

Are You Keeping Your Workforce 'Appy?

It's estimated that there are now over 1.5 million mobile phone and tablet apps available to download. Whether you want to access your bank records, book a table for dinner, or even catapult 'angry birds', there will be an app that will meet your needs!

The increasing number of people using apps to help manage their lives presents a huge opportunity for businesses, offering them an effective way to engage with their people. This is particularly the case in organisations where employees are on the road, travelling the country, or working remotely.

One way that I see that apps and digital technology can really benefit businesses, is by helping their people to manage their health and wellbeing. A healthy workforce is crucial to a successful business, and we know that employee health and wellbeing is high up on business agendas. But, we also recognise that people's healthcare needs and expectations are changing - they increasingly want fast and easy access to healthcare products and services and welcome digital innovations that support this.

Earlier this year we launched Bupa Boost, a digital innovation designed to support businesses to embed a more positive and proactive health culture across their organisation. We're working with a number of corporate clients to introduce this into their workplace, supportin them to improve the health and wellbeing of their entire workforce.

And our work in harnessing the power of a humble app to help businesses put quick and easy healthcare into the pocket of every employee, does not stop there.

Today I'm really excited that we have announced a new partnership with babylon to provide virtual healthcare services to busy workers. Accessed through an app on a smartphone or tablet device, babylon enables employees to have virtual appointments with a GP - speaking with them directly over video link, phone, or text message. They can also use the app to organise referrals to see a specialist, and even manage medical notes and prescription deliveries.

This new partnership with babylon is just one of many examples of how we are investing in online and digital services to meet demands for fast and easy access to healthcare. We know the demand is there - three in five (58%) workers said they would be encouraged to think more about their health and wellbeing if their employer provided them with digital technology to help them to do this, and over half of people say they want to be able to book healthcare through an app.

Digital innovations such as these won't just benefit the employee; we believe that organisations will benefit from a workforce that is engaged, productive, and overall more 'appy.'