A proactive approach to health and wellness in insurance

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By Simon Spurr, Executive Director at Alula Technologies

Today’s rapidly evolving healthcare landscape is resulting in the traditional, reactive model of insurance undergoing a transformative shift. Forming the basis of this change is the need to harness rich data insights and advanced technology. Alula Technologies, through its use of data from wearable devices, integrated systems, rPPG face scanning, health apps, and other sources, is reshaping the insurance industry to adopt a more proactive and engaging approach to health and wellness.

The adoption of modern technologies allows for a fresh understanding of an individual’s health and lifestyle status. This forms the key to more personalised underwriting, with insurance premiums and coverage tailored to an individual’s specific health and risk profile. Technological advances have allowed for a world where insurers incentivise policyholders to adopt healthier behaviours, rewarding them with reduced premiums or increased benefits for achieving certain health goals. This also enables increased, and highly personalised, engagement between policyholders and insurers, providing an enhanced customer experience. 

Combining technologies

One of the secrets to success in a data-driven business environment is the integration of AI, machine learning, and data analytics for accurate risk prediction, early intervention, and personalised care. Such advancements can ultimately lead to improved health outcomes and cost savings. 

For one, it enables data collection and integration. By unifying vast amounts of data from various sources, insurers can access a comprehensive health profile of individual clients. This aggregation of diverse data sets also makes predictive modelling possible. In Alula’s case, our proprietary algorithms are not just about understanding current health statuses. For us, it is also about using information gathered from various trusted data sources to predict future health outcomes. These data sources include, but are not limited to, hospitals, doctors, pharmacies, and insurers’ data such as health claims and encounters. 

This data analysis enables comprehensive risk identification and early detection. For instance, Alula categorises individuals into different risk categories based on their demographic, genetic, medical, and lifestyle data, which supports the identification of potential health issues before they manifest into more severe conditions. This furthermore facilitates personalised recommendations that go beyond generic advice as we are able to deliver health recommendations uniquely tailored to an individual’s specific risk factors. 

Numerous health and life insurance companies, healthcare organisations, and technology partners are currently using our solutions. Currently, in South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the UAE, our Digital Health Check solution and Health Score are revolutionising the way insurers understand and engage with consumers’ health. 

Data accuracy 

At a time when data privacy is critical, we place an unwavering emphasis on safeguarding user data, operating under the highest data privacy and consent standards. We adhere to stringent data protection regulations, like the GDPR, ensuring full transparency and strong security measures in handling sensitive health information, thereby enhancing trust in our digital health innovations. 

Providing relevant, concise, and validated health and wellness information is another cornerstone of our vision. We generate a significant volume of content, all scientifically validated and sourced reliably, to build trust and empower individuals in making informed health decisions. This content strategy is about information dissemination and about creating a knowledgeable community that can take control of its health and wellness. 

Insurers will further leverage these emerging technologies to enhance preventative interventions, impacting the future of health and life insurance. The transition from a reactive to a proactive approach, one which focuses on prevention rather than cure, benefits everyone involved. Early detection of health issues, facilitated by innovative technology, not only improves health outcomes for policyholders but also significantly reduces costs for both individuals and insurers. 

The future of insurance lies in prevention. At Alula, we are leading the charge towards this proactive, data-driven, and technology-enabled approach. The goal is a healthier world where insurance does more than just cover costs — it helps prevent them.