How biology and technology can impact our health

We live in a world with increasingly uncertain health outcomes. Individuals from developed economies have been living longer for many decades.

However, those gains are beginning to be reversed in some countries, particularly within certain communities. Sensor technology is increasingly being deployed to counter these trends. The computational biology platform LifeQ offers its clients effective outcomes based on intervention and engagement in individuals' health; dynamic health assessment; cost saving and fair pricing; and early disease prediction.

LifeQ takes sensor data from wearables or smart phones into its analytics and modeling cloud to come to its initial risk assessment. Using huge data sets and sophisticated algorithms, hundreds of data outputs are produced, which are summarised into easy to digest features specific for the insurance industry. The model allows for continuous risk monitoring of an insured population, with tested improvements in data quality of up to 75%. LifeQ was able to establish that, combined with a digital health questionnaire, it was able to provide an accurate health assessment of an insurance applicant within five days. LifeQ does not only help on the onboarding and underwriting process, it further allows insurance companies to undertake continuous risk assessment of their portfolios – important not only in setting reserves, but as the potential bases for dynamic product pricing and to sell more products.

LifeQ does not only work for insurers, it also works for the insured. It breaks down health indicators into indicative scores, based around heart indicators, activity and sleep. These are aggregated into overall ratings. The insurer has the ability to provide this feedback to policy holders as the basis for engagement and interaction. Many insurers are now doing this as part of a reward programme, where good health ratings earn either premium reductions or some other form of incentive.

By factoring in LifeQ's platform alongside traditional business practices, such as health surveys, insurers can support their products along the value chain. LifeQ provides cost effective, illuminating data, with plenty of scope for use in the insurance industry. How far insurers can leverage that information is only constrained by their imagination.

Summary of the Swiss Re Institute's Next Generation Insurance Customer event in June 2017 by Simon Woodward.