Digital innovation in the healthcare sector has become a driver for medical treatment as well as a change engine for the insurance business. Healthcare- and medical applications have undergone dramatic advancements, resulting in better quality in patient care and increased human lifespan. Funding to new startups in health insurance tech has also boosted funding in insurance tech overall, resulting in 120% growth in 2015. A number of insurance- and primary care companies are working together, or even merging to take advantage of the new market characteristics.
An evolving industry and the search for technological advancement and increased insurance knowhow open potentially awesome opportunities for healthcare- and insurtech startups in various segments:
Quantified Self and Big Data Usage
Modern healthcare is no longer a single market with a limited, medical focus, but an interface with new technologies like Big Data Intelligence, Internet-of-Things, mobile applications and many more. The goal of combining data from multiple facilities and companies, as well as the volume and complexity of data, poses major challenges to any actor the above fields.
On the one hand, technology enables customers to analyse and manage their own health data at a very sophisticated level. On the other, professionals and organizations are now able to systematically categorize and monitor medical parameters and illnesses – as well as their respective causes and symptoms – on a customized level. Both trends will reduce disease cases as well as cost of treatment and form a central pillar of modern healthcare and insurance services.
Customized health services and coaching approaches
There are currently around 165K health-related apps available for Android and Apple mobile devices. Global revenue from these products will reach $21.1 billion in 2018 according to a recent article in The Economist. Mobile health technologies range from the most basic personalized information systems to highly interactive smartphone apps.
Medical treatment is only part of the solution and is limited with regard to prevention. In many cases, a sports program combined with changes in nutritional habits is a simple, but effective way to contain mass disease like diabetes or obesity. To combat these, many approaches offer features that help members start a lifestyle of health and fun. Typically, these are educational approaches that set up reward systems and gamify CRM via challenges or community building with like-minded participants.
Mobile monitoring and prevention
Advanced healthcare equipment allows for continuous, even remote monitoring of body parameters like blood pressure, breathing rate, heart rate or blood oxygen levels. All these data can be used by healthcare professionals to diagnose and prepare treatment plans without a need for healthcare professionals on site. We are progressing along the path of revolutionary, low-cost health care monitoring systems embedded within home and living environments.
Smart Interfaces and second opinions
According to studies, more than 30% of all outpatient consultations are second opinions – a growing number of them derived via smart devices or data exchange, without a personal visit. Advances in mobile technology have inspired a huge trend in patients using electronic devices to enable check ups by healthcare professionals.
Mobile pharma-consulting and service
Rapid advances in smartphone technology will make these devices the central interface of future healthcare. Today we already see mobile apps and wearable devices that enable tasks such as requests for prescription refills or supplementary check ups via video chat. Convenience, personal sovereignty and an immense potential to reduce costs are the obvious drivers of remote diagnostics and treatment apps.
Smart diagnostics via wearables or pocket devices also make patient records more mobile and accessible for the healthcare facilities that need to analyse them.
The current transition to electronic health records also opens doors for the predictive analysis of health data and could play a leading role in health domains such as precision medicine and rare disease research.
Even so, much uncharted territory remains in the healthcare-insurance-sector and this presents vast opportunities for disruptive new applications and services. If you are a digitally minded healthcare professional, consultant, insurance expert or an entrepreneur with a focus on healthcare, contact us to start working on new Insurtech ideas that will reshape this business sector.
Kick-off for our January startup program is just around the corner. There are still a number of interesting management positions open to suitably qualified people, whether they have their own business concept or not. The only ‘must have’ is a strong desire to start up and make a difference.