TECHNOLOGY: start-ups are shaping e-health – an opportunity for insurance providers

The IoT, mobile apps and other e-solutions provide a great opportunity for insurers to harness customer data in order to personalise their offers and to provide new services. 

Our series on Personal Insurance: “E-health: shifting from insurer to key player in prevention, thanks to digital”

In terms of health and wellbeing, connected objects are increasing in number and becoming more innovative. A great many start-ups, including the best of the French Tech start-up community, are specialising in this field and demonstrating real creative ability to support consumers in their quest for wellbeing. An opportunity for insurance providers to harness customer data in order to personalise their offers and to provide new services. Among the multitude of connected objects, four main categories stand out: captors, companions, life coaches and barometers. What purpose do they serve? What are the benefits to insurance providers?

 

  • CAPTORS: Creating new territories not covered by the traditional care pathway Connected objects or services, known as captors, are essentially prevention aids used to monitor lifestyle (such as apps to calculate calories and make healthy eating choices, etc.) and physical activity (such as connected t-shirt to monitor heart rate during exercise). For the insurer, this is an opportunity to become their customer’s life coach. They can, for example, advise customers about alert services or complete care packages for a sick relative or care in the home for an elderly person. Supporting customers in their lifestyle choices and thereby reducing the associated risk opens the way to varying insurance premiums on a per-case basis.

 

  • COMPANIONS: Improving treatment compliance and reducing the number of days of in-patient hospital care Companions include e-solutions that help to provide remote care for certain illnesses. There are, for example, automatic drug injection devices, robots to assist autistic children or therapeutic video games to improve the physical and cognitive abilities of patients suffering Alzheimer’s or stroke victims. The data gathered using these tools allows insurance providers to personalise their products and services and to offer additional options according to a customer’s illness or handicap.

 

  • LIFE COACHES: Providing an ad-hoc medical device when faced with a lack of human resources in a healthcare institution Mobile apps known as life coaches are not far from replacing the professional healthcare provider: skin care, improved health record, medical e-appointment, online sales of health products, and so on. The advantages to users: compiling their own health check record and, if necessary, presenting it to their doctor. For insurers, all this medical information is of real benefit for adapting their products and services to suit their customers.

 

  • BAROMETERS: Addressing long waiting times for medical appointments Barometers allow users to measure vital parameters from home. In particular, there are diabetic shoe inserts that send alerts to the patient’s smartphone via Bluetooth in the event of hypertension, contactless infrared thermometers or pocket electrocardiograms. Self-diagnosis, whether for medical purposes or for wellbeing, fulfils a growing demand on the part of users for self-prevention. This also provides an opportunity for insurance providers to analyse the lifestyle of customers in order to support them and to offer them personalised services.

 

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Anais Martinel

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