HomeInterviewsWellness wearables align incentives for both customers and insurance
By Hadi Khatib
January 27, 2023 2:32 pm

Wellness wearables align incentives for both customers and insurance

Technology can detect early signs of illness
Wellness wearables
Vaibhav Kashyap (left) & Javed Akberali, Co-Founders of Wellx

Diabetes affects 430 million people worldwide. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the share of people aged 20-79 who have diabetes across the GCC states over the last ten years: 18.7% in Saudi, 16.4% in the UAE, and 19.5% in Qatar, in comparison to just 10.7% affected in the US population.

Wellx, a regional wellness-based insurtech platform, has recently launched a one-of-a-kind metabolic fitness tracker geared to helping diabetic and/or pre-diabetic individuals, in the region, lead healthier lifestyles.

During an interview with Vaibhav Kashyap & Javed Akberali, Co-Founders of Wellx we asked about the benefits of wearable technology in wellness and how it can help diabetic individuals in the UAE.

The surge of insurance in 2023, and how are wellness-based products driving this shift?


Across the globe, prevention is becoming an integral part of the value insurance companies can add to the lives of their customers. This applies across the board from car insurance to cyber insurance. These products are personal and have a huge emotional component when it comes to health and life insurance. Wellness-based insurance products align incentives for both customers and insurers – as we all benefit greatly when healthier outcomes are achieved. Wellness-based products also allow insurers to function as health partners, helping customers in improving their quality of life daily, instead of only providing protection. Insurers have always struggled to get high levels of customer engagement and loyalty, driven by the fact that having joyful positive experiences with an insurance product is inherently challenging. Taking on the health partner role can help insurers build long-term brand loyalty and help a new relationship paradigm with customers.

Wellness wearables

How can wearables as part of insurance plans enable diabetics/pre-diabetics to live healthier lifestyles?


Traditional underwriting and pricing by insurance companies is done on the basis of static data provided in forms. Previously, there was no way for a customer to reliably share, or for an insurer to accurately consume, data around an individual’s actions that promote or detract from their well-being. Wearables like WHOOP, Fitbit, and CGMs (Ultrahuman), help address the data issue. We now have a plethora of data ranging from activity levels, sleep quality, and insulin spikes, that all pain a far more robust picture of an individual’s health. Numerous studies have been done on the likelihood of an individual becoming diabetic or being hit by heart disease based on their activity levels, sleep quality, and glucose variability – to name a few metrics. These data points can help insurers better manage their portfolios and reward customers for positive actions. Pre-diabetics can be rewarded for limiting their insulin spikes, resulting in a lower likelihood of becoming diabetic, obese patients can be rewarded for improving their activity levels, lowering their likelihood of cardiovascular disease. At Wellx, we’re working with all the above wearable providers to gather data and help insurers support the well-being and health of their customers through a more aligned relationship.

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What is the future of the insurance industry due to government initiatives and how are insurance platforms and their partners benefitting from this?


The relationship between the government and the insurance industry in the region has benefitted from learnings made across the world. Allowing the private sector and free market to run the healthcare system has historically been beneficial. Today, however, growing healthcare costs have ushered in the need for an outcomes-based approach towards medical care. The government is pushing the agenda for a system of care associated with improving health, vs the performance of services – i.e. doctors get paid for curing a headache, instead of running a blood test. Such a move will further push the prevention agenda and align all stakeholders to the common cause of keeping people healthy.

How can such partnerships be scaled to provide corporate insurance without losing its personalization element?

Partnerships can be scaled to provide personalized corporate insurance by utilizing technology such as data analytics and machine learning to gain a deeper understanding of the specific needs and risk profiles of individual businesses. This information can then be used to tailor insurance products and pricing to meet the unique needs of each company. Additionally, digital platforms and automation can be used to streamline the process of purchasing and managing insurance, making it more convenient and efficient for businesses of all sizes. Each individual insured under the plan will receive a personalized well-being plan that’s aimed at improving the experience and helping the insurer manage risk at a granular level.

Wellness wearables

The benefits of including wearables as part of insurance plans


Including wearable technology as part of health insurance plans can offer a number of benefits. Some of these benefits include:

    • Improved wellness: Wearable technology can help individuals track their physical activity, sleep, and other health metrics, which can encourage them to make healthier lifestyle choices and improve their overall wellness.
    • Better disease management: Wearable technology can be used to track vital signs and other health data, which can be used to manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension more effectively.
    • Lower healthcare costs: By using wearable technology to monitor and manage health, individuals may be able to reduce the number of doctor’s visits and hospital stays they need, which can lead to lower healthcare costs overall.
    • Early detection of problems: Wearable technology can detect early signs of illness or injury, allowing individuals to seek treatment sooner, which can lead to better outcomes and lower costs.
    • Personalized health insurance: Wearable technology can collect data on an individual’s health status, which can be used to personalize health insurance plans and offer tailored insurance products.
    • Increased engagement: Wearable technology can help individuals stay engaged with their health by providing real-time feedback and encouraging them to set and achieve health-related goals.
    • Data for underwriting and risk assessment: Wearable technology devices can provide insurance companies with data on the health status of the individual, which can be used to assess risk, set premium rates, and also improve their underwriting process

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