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AI backed hyper personalisation fuels health insurtech’s future

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Wellx.ai and WHOOP have partnered to reinvent the healthcare insurance wheel in the region.

Personalisation is not a new concept for insurance firms. The idea that premiums paid by consumers should be matched to the extent of the risk they're insuring against is central to what insurers do.

Hyper-personalisation has the potential to help insurers manage risk more effectively and provide reduced premiums to clients. However, to make this automated vision of the future a reality, the industry's data experts must overcome considerable obstacles. By harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) and real-time data to provide the most appropriate suggestions and experiences to clients at scale — based on their location, time, date, and even behaviour.

According to Accenture, 82 per cent of insurance consumers are willing to disclose information about their behaviour to their insurers, if it will help them enhance their coverage.

Omnia Health Insights spoke to Wellx.ai, the Middle East's first wellness backed InsureTech about its plans to disrupt the region's insurance business. Founded by Vaibhav Kashyap and Javed Akberali, the company provides health insurance to individuals, families, corporations, and SMEs by incentivising participation in various wellness activities such as gym visits, healthy eating, focusing on mental wellness, using wearable technology, and much more.

We discuss how, as a digital-first company, they leverage data analytics tools to hyperpersonalise the insurance and wellness experience, allowing consumers to complete their insurance journeys online.

 

How is Wellx.ai shaping the future of insurtech by incentivising wellness and rewards?

Wellx.ai is working towards a new age of insurance where we are not only there to support our members financially when they fall sick, but also there to help them prevent illness to begin with. We must always keep in mind that no individual wants to buy insurance, what they want is to not fall sick.

 

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Wellx.ai co-founders - Javed Akberali and Vaibhav Kashyap
 

How key was it to partner with wearables technology that focuses on performance and integrate that into a healthcare aspect?

WHOOP is the world’s best wearables technology provider. Not only does WHOOP’s AI coach provide users with in-depth knowledge on their physiological performance, they also successfully bring about behavioural change – seen by improvements in key markers such as sleep, heart-rate-variability, resting heart rate, etc. To achieve our bold ambition of building happier, healthier, and more resilient communities, Wellx.ai needed a partner that can not only provide insights but can also coach our customers on how to do better. Wellx.ai takes WHOOP’s offering one step further by providing financial incentives for customers hitting goals set by WHOOP. We provide customers with the tools they need to do better and then reward them for it.

 

How can this partnership enhance the patient experience and align with hospitals in improving outcomes? Have there been any collaborations with health organisations in the region?

WHOOP enables our customers to provide meaningful insights to doctors about their own health. These insights can enable better diagnostics and sometimes reduce the requirement for additional testing, making the healthcare experience more efficient and cost-effective through the Wellx.ai insurance program. We are already tied in with every hospital and provider in the region.

 

Wellx.ai aims to “reduce insurance claims and hyper-personalize the insurance experience” can you elaborate on this and why hyper personalisation may be vital in the future of healthcare?

As with all modern experiences, customers now expect providers to cater to their own specific needs. Everything from the content we watch, to the products that are recommended to us, are tailored to our choices. At Wellx.ai we believe that insurance shouldn’t be any different. Customers who are willing to invest in their well-being should be rewarded for their efforts. That is what hyper-personalisation means. The action of rewarding good behaviours will result in healthier individuals with a lower incidence of lifestyle-related diseases (60 per cent of all deaths in the UAE are linked to lifestyle-related diseases) and lower claims.

 

Can you also speak about the cash back policy and how it drives behavioural change?

Our cash-back mechanism works to enhance engagement in healthy activities. Walking 5,000 steps a day can count as a goal day achieved, so can eating 2 healthy meals. By achieving these simple goals 20 days in a month, customers are eligible to receive some of their premium back as rewards. We believe that wellness means different things to different people. Our ambition is not to push customers to participate in one kind of wellness. We want customers to do whatever they already are, just do more of it. If a customer pursues wellness by eating healthy, then all they need to do is do more of that, and we will reward them for it. If they choose to walk to improve their health, we incentivise them to increase their step goals. Over time, as our members engage holistically with the wellness ecosystem, they will continue to get rewarded for all their wellness efforts.

 

How can this impact/enhance healthcare providers and their treatment plans? Does it lend to a multidisciplinary approach?

Healthcare providers typically have a reactive approach to sickness. The current health insurance structure favours this approach as the focus is on the payment of bills/claims and not the prevention of illness. With the increased adoption of remote monitoring, telemedicine, and preventative treatments, we believe that the entire healthcare system’s focus will shift towards reducing the likelihood of someone falling sick. We believe the insurers and providers will compete on their ability to keep people healthy, instead of their ability to treat sick people.

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