The Glimpse (Using data)


The Glimpse

Data is the key for insurers to get a deep knowledge of the patients and offer a multitude of services

The latent concern of users, companies and regulators for the use of personal data is promising to emerge in different fields.

On the one hand, people are increasingly interested in monitoring their activity and recording their own evolution in their own devices. On the other hand, companies want to offer hyper-personalized products and services to deliver added value to their customers and differentiate themselves from their competition.

In this context, insurance and health companies are continually incorporating, over the last few years and thanks to the advances of technology, new options and features into their offering. This model allows their clients to obtain certain benefits in return of the access and exploitation of their data by these organizations.

The goal from the insurance industry is clear: to reduce loss ratios and to promote habits of prevention and healthy living.

Fitness, the gateway to health

Well-being and health have been a trend for years and, unlike fad, the former are capable of transforming and impacting economies, industries, businesses and consumers in the long term.

In the case of health, this transformation is already happening and we see how improvements in technology and lowering costs in tracking devices are making people proactively decide to have a deeper knowledge of their activity and data related to their health status.

Initially, people were focused on an offer of novel value, which allowed them to access their data in real time and see their evolution. It was the moment when the wearable boom occurred, but there was still no direct connection between the data obtained through these devices and health or insurance companies.

For example, Fitbit, recently acquired by Google,has gone from being the clear dominant of the wearable segment (a 45% market share in 2014) to being a company with little weight in this industry (5.9% in 2019 ). These devices are no longer a novelty for users and companies such as Apple, the current leader in this market, has managed to integrate a greater number of functionalities related to Health, integrating data into a wider ecosystem, that of well-being.

The North American insurance company John Hancock, meanwhile, already began to promote a significant change in the industry in 2015, when it offered its first interactive life policy based on the knowledge of the activity of its users. Now, at the end of 2019 and thanks to the agreement with Vitality, it is expanding this model to all its life products and is only going to market these types of policies, so users will pay less when registering their activity in an application.

But it's not just about monitoring physical activity,the agreement with Vitality goes further and rewards users when they improve their habits: improving the quality of sleep (with a 30-day challenge) or eating healthier (if they buy healthy food in a network of establishments attached to this health program).

Among the rewards, the reduction in the price of the policy stands out, but there are also discounts on food, electronic devices (including discounts on Apple Watch and free Fitbit devices), subscription to magazines and applications related to healthy living and meditation, hotels...

A health ecosystem. From insurers to service providers

The above examples are basically related to prevention and well-being, that is, everything that has to do with improving the quality of life of People before they have to make use of medical services.

But what would happen if users found in their health service provider a HUB that would give them value in all their interactions at any time and not only when they had to go to a medical appointment?

It is a new model in which the patient is at the center and, thanks to the use of advanced technological tools, facilitates the work of doctors and improves the user experience: before, during and after receiving care. This omnichannel benefit is based on a deep knowledge of the patients and offers a multitude of services that until now were not possible to be granted by the same provider.

Let's say that an insurer knows that a client has to do a medical review and can send him a WhatsApp message indicating this information and offering the available slots to book the one that best suits the insured. This interaction would be taking place in a channel that the user uses in their day to day and would be carried out from an advisory perspective, with a non-intrusive approach.

Other options are that the user has voluntarily decided to seek advice through a button to inform him about something that concerns him. In this case, there could be a consultation and a button that could guide you through a series of questions and to derive the options from that correspondence.

Another option is for the user to voluntarily decide to seek advice through a bot to learn about something that worries her or him. In this case, the patient could make an inquiry and the bot could guide hi mor her by asking a series of questions and refer to the corresponding appointment options based on the answers and the information provided (for example photographs of skin spots).

Finally, the user could also know in advance which specialist he or she wants to go to and find an available slot through services such as Alexa or WhatsApp, where he would be shown the name of different doctors, their location (depending on the area chosen by the user ); and even see the assessment or rating of that professional.

The medical consultation is also digitized

If doctors could access all that Information centralized on a single platform, they could have a 360 view of the patient. With all the data coming from the wearables (with prior authorization) and also of the medical history and of the tests carried out before the patients.

Similarly, health professionals could contact users through the channels they usually use. For example, they could make a video call through WhatsApp, Skype or by phone. Without forgetting that the option of the F2F consultation is always open.

A positive scenario for all parties

The benefits for the insurance companies are many: they could know if there is any change in the client's risk profile, inform the insured that they have to complete medical tests or contact them to encourage changes in their lifestyle.

This approach is clearly aimed at expanding the offer of value to move from being insurers to service providers and to significantly reduce the payment of reimbursements for the provision of medical and assistance services

But at the same time it affects the improvement of patients' lives. The better the life that people lead, the less health problems they will have.

This is a scenario in which prevention will be key and in this respect we would like to open a reflection: can there be a better use of the data than what is done to improve people's quality of life?