Buisness Insider

This Company Saved A Lot Of Money By Tracking Their Employees With Fitbits

Appirio Employees

One day soon, your company could hand you a fitness-tracking device as a gift.

The gift could have a sizeable payoff for the company. They could use it to track your fitness habits and, if you and your coworkers behave well, use that data to negotiate lower insurance premiums.

In fact, hot Valley startup Appirio did exactly that, reports Nancy Gohring at Citeworld. As part of a bigger corporate wellness program it calls CloudFit, Appirio handed out Fitbits to about 400 employees. And thanks to CloudFit, Appirio convinced its insurance company to lower its rates by 5%. That added up to a hefty $280,000.

CloudFit isn't just the Fitbits. It includes other things, like giving employees live video sessions with a fitness trainer via Google Hangouts.

As for the Fitbits, they were actually sort of purchased by the insurance company, too. It handed Appirio $20,000 to start a wellness program, and Appirio used that money to buy fitness bands. 

Employees got to choose if they wanted to share data with the company and what data they shared. About 100 opted in. Most were OK with sharing info about how many steps they walk each day, but not about their sleep habits.

These Fitbit folks also got into a social networking group at work that urged each other to up their fitness goals. So the more they tracked their fitness, the more fitness everyone pursued.

Appirio is in the business of writing cloud apps for enterprises, particularly in the healthcare industry. So it wrote an app to aggregate everyone's Fitbit data as part of CloudFit and that's the data it used to convinced the insurance company to lower its price.

For companies that won't write their own app: Fitbit actually offers an employee wellness app to companies who buy fleets of devices for workers.

And Appirio isn't alone, either. BP America is doing a similar thing on a broader scale. In 2013, it bought Fitbits for 14,000 employees, 6,000 spouses, and 4,000 retirees in 2013 as part of a corporate wellness program, Forbes recently reported. 

How much can everyone save? A lot. After insurance company Cigna did a fitness band pilot program, it told healthcare market research firm The Advisor Board it thinks employers could save 13% a year.

Thanks to provisions in the Affordable Care Act, which offers companies incentives for implementing wellness programs, and savings like that, more companies may try similar programs.

There are risks. This could become a pretty big intrusion in employee privacy, where a company nags employees, or penalizes them somehow, for not exercising or taking care of chronic illnesses. But then again, that could also lead to a healthier life.

Join the conversation about this story »

Mf


Rc
Rc
Rc

A2A2t
Feeds.feedburner
read full article
   

This Young Mom Used Instagram To Land A Book Deal And Make Tons Of Money

Mommas Gone City

Jessica Shyba has captured the hearts of thousands of people across the country with her Instagram account, where she posts pictures of her son, Beau, snuggling with her dog, Theo. 

So much so, that she was able to snag a book deal and start making lots of money off of her 5-year-old blog, Momma's Gone City.

Meet Jessica. She started her blog, Momma's Gone City, five years ago when she moved with her husband and kids from the Bay Area in California to Manhattan.



She used the blog to keep up with friends and family. About three years into it, she started turning it into a business, through ads and sponsorships.



In November 2013, her family decided to adopt Theo, a part-German Shepherd, part-Shar-Pei puppy from an animal shelter in Santa Cruz, California.



See the rest of the story at Business InsiderMf


Rc
Rc
Rc

A2A2t
Feeds.feedburner
read full article
   

Why Investors Are Going Crazy For The Very European Government Bonds They Used To Hate

Italiangovernmentdebt

The above chart tells one of the most important stories in the world of economics. It shows the yield on Italian 10-year bonds.

Not long ago, Italy was one of a handful of so-called "PIIGS" countries, peripheral European countries that investors were avoiding like the plague. Others in this category included Greece, Ireland, Spain, and Portugal. And even France made investors nervous. These countries had (and continue to have) high levels of government debt, and generally mediocre economies overall. 

The fear was that the countries wouldn't be able to service their debt, and that they would possibly default and revert to their old currencies, leaving bond investors in the lurch.

But now look, Italian government bond yields are at their lowest levels in history. Not only has the trend reversed, the pendulum has swung far in the other direction. Investors are buying European government bonds like crazy.

What caused the turnaround? 

In the Summer of 2012, ECB chief Mario Draghi laid out a plan that would allow the ECB to backstop countries that got into fiscal trouble. Specifically, if a country was having problems in the bond market (borrowing money), then the ECB would agree to step in and buy an unlimited number of bonds (which the ECB has the ability to do, because it creates money), provided the country in question agreed to undergo further fiscal reforms.

The program Draghi spelled out was known as OMT.

As it turns out, Draghi never needed to use OMT. No country has actually had to call in the ECB for help.

But just the knowledge of the program's existence — that it can be used as an escape valve if necessary — was all it took to produce a ferocious rally in government bonds and a big drop in yields.

Today

These days there's even more reason to be bullish on European government debt.

Inflation is exceptionally low in Europe, particularly in peripheral countries.

Going back to Italy (which we're just using as an example) the rate of inflation is about as low as it was during the worst of the economic crisis.

Screen%20shot%202014 05 11%20at%207.03.04%20am

Falling inflation tends to create demand for fixed income assets, like government bonds.

Again, this story is being repeated all over the place in Europe.

Furthermore, there's a "shortage" of safe assets in the world. The Fed has bought up a lot of US debt (through QE) and we're not producing as much government guaranteed housing debt in the US like we used to. So a European government bond that has a theoretical guarantee from the ECB (if Italy ever gets into trouble) suddenly looks kind of appealing.

So what we're seeing across Europe are historic lows in peripheral government borrowing costs, as low inflation, a shortage of safe debt, and an ECB backstop conspire to make these assets look very attractive.

Join the conversation about this story »

Mf


Rc
Rc
Rc

A2A2t
Feeds.feedburner
read full article
   

Page 8 of 128

For latest CURRENT design & photos
Find Joysco Studio On Facebook


28 February 2012
Be Inspired: The Life of Heavy D (Documentary) FT. QUEEN LATIFAH AND MORE NARRATED BY...
24 February 2015
Even millionaires have trouble finding the right house to buy. Jay Z and Beyonce's dream home in...
24 February 2015
Even though A$AP Rocky's next album, A.L.L.A., has no release date yet, he's doing a good job...
24 February 2015
While Kanye West has been loudly promoting his Adidas collaboration, his homie Don C has been quietly...
24 February 2015
J. Cole is a week away from launching his Forest Hills Drive Tour. It’s a massive five-month trek...
24 February 2015
Justine Skye shares stories of her rise to stardom, her goals to change R&B and performs...
24 February 2015
The 2015 BET Honors aired on Monday night (Feb. 23) and Usher was one of the celebrated entertainers,...
24 February 2015
Following a quick wardrobe change out of her Emilio Pucci curve-hugging red carpet ensemble, K. Michelle...
24 February 2015
The 2015 BET Honors celebrate the lifetime achievement of a variety of African Americans in various...
24 February 2015
It looks as if the Drake and Chris Brown feud has been rekindled. Over the weekend, Drizzy threw a small...