Illness Prediction Technology Provides New Tool for Employee Absenteeism Forecasting

Each year, tens of billions of dollars are lost from employee absenteeism due to illness. While companies attempt to manage this issue, a big part of the challenge is trying to anticipate when workers will be out sick. A new partnership between Sickweather and Unum (NYSE: UNM) helps manage this predicament.

Sickweather is the world’s first real-time map of human health, tracking reported illnesses and symptoms to provide geographically specific information about what’s going around. That information can be used to forecast a range of health-related factors for a variety of industries.

Unum, an international provider of financial protection benefits for companies has initiated a pilot project using Sickweather data to predict employee absence due to sickness. The initiative is designed to give managers more data and insights to plan for absenteeism.

“The benefit of this integration is removing some of the guesswork to ensure a workplace is staffed as efficiently as possible every day.” said Susan Stowell, Unum AVP, Workforce Solutions Group and Healthcare Segment Leader. “Managers and HR departments now have more insight into when unplanned absences may occur, so staffing modifications can be made in advance.”

The concept of using illness prediction technology for staffing is novel and has the potential to provide financial benefits for companies with large employee populations, especially for shift-based roles. With employees being one of the largest expenditures for many companies, even a small improvement in staffing efficiency can affect financials significantly.

“We knew illness tracking would be a game-changer for companies looking to get a better handle on employees missing work because of sickness.” said Graham Dodge, CEO, Sickweather. “The partnership with Unum provides the perfect platform to demonstrate how improved absenteeism management can drive the bottom line.”

The technology will launch this month as a closed pilot with at least five of Unum’s clients representing over 80,000 employees across 45 states.

About Sickweather

Sickweather is the world’s first real-time map of sickness and the largest crowdsourcing community of its kind — processing millions of illness reports each month. The company has been recognized for accurately forecasting outbreaks up to 15 weeks in advance. Sickweather is committed to reducing healthcare costs and saving lives by providing consumers and businesses the most accurate, predictive and meaningful sickness forecasts in the world. (

About Unum

Unum Group is a leading provider of financial protection benefits in the United States and the United Kingdom. Its primary businesses are Unum US, Colonial Life, and Unum UK. Unum’s portfolio includes disability, life, accident and critical illness, dental and vision coverage, which help protect millions of working people and their families in the event of an illness or injury. Unum also provides stop-loss coverage to help self-insured employers protect against unanticipated medical costs. (

*Contact Sickweather’s Chief Revenue Officer Laurel Edelman at 484.653.8707 or for more information.