Healthtech and Insurance

It’s been a while since I uploaded a blog. Today I would like to share some of the research I have done lately on healthtech and the insurance industry.

Through analysing historical claims data, actuaries are able to perform accurate underwriting in order to design the right products for the right groups of potential consumers. Healthtech products available in the market can change this traditional way of underwriting significantly by providing forward-looking insights.

There are three key themes in healthtech that are relevant to the industry:

  1. Wellness
  2. Ageing population
  3. Chronic illnesses

These types of healthtech products could improve the way insurers look at data when pricing their policies, they could also help insurers to learn more about the customers and develop a more personalised approach throughout the customer journey. Insurance policies are traditionally seen as something that people put their cash into without seeing obvious benefits to it, although it did provide a sense of security to the customers. What if technology can help improve the general impression towards the insurance industry today?

First we look at wellness, this is typically wearables available in the market that collect anything from steps to heart rates. If a wearable could measure activity level, blood glucose level, blood pressure, cholesterol level, then it could potentially identify at-risk individuals for heart disease, diabetes, dementia, respiratory disease, to name a few. A worthwhile wearable for insurers should be able to measure most of these risk factors, but data collection on its own is not enough, it has to give something back to the customers. The data collected should turn into actionable insights where customers are encouraged to improve their health.

Whilst wellness helps insurers to identify at-risk individuals and collect massive data sets for future product development, the rest of the categories could help insurers lower potential costs for hospital admissions and GP visits.

Smart home devices come into play a lot when we look at ageing population. The top common causes for elderly hospital admissions are injuries such as falls, and incidents related to dehydration. With this in mind, smart home devices that could monitor an elderly’s activity would be useful, many devices in the market also connects to home carers and emergency services which is highly important.

For chronic illnesses, the top costs for insurers are the frequent visits to hospitals. In this case, any devices that could keep patients out of hospitals could be useful. This can range from devices tailored for diabetes patients to measure blood glucose level to blood count devices for cancer patients ahead of their chemotherapy appointments.

On top of these devices, it is also critical for insurers to consider how they could influence better care delivery in the healthcare economy, i.e. how can care be more coordinated? Can insurers have an influence on this by implementing some technology solutions? Implementing healthtech products is not just a feel-good factor for customers when they buy their insurance policies, it needs to be something that could bring benefits to both the insurers and the policyholders. It is in my believe that implementing healthtech products is more just a device that policyholders would use, it is also how healthtech can improve care delivery overall. Therefore, insurers should consider solutions outside of consumers products if they would like to gather better intelligence for their future product development and underwriting process.

Note: Featured picture in this blog is sourced from: https://www.pexels.com/

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