Digital health & insurance: perfect partners?

The BMA is claiming at their annual conference today that GPs are struggling with workload. Once upon a time, everyone thought digital health alone was one answer to reduce that workload. However until we have better algorithms to sort the signal from the noise, many doctors claim that more data is contributing to the problem rather than solving it. So how to get patients to use digital health data to take more responsibility for their own health? In technical terms, how to raise their patient activation measure (PAM)?

One way of improving the effectiveness of digital health might therefore be to add incentives to become more activated; insurance could provide such an incentive. The Royal Society of Medicine has therefore put together, as a ‘first’, an event on 1st June to explore this combination (disclosure: organised by this editor).

The speakers have been chosen to cover the full spectrum of participants in this field. Beginning with the software, Caty Ebel Bitoun from the Netherlands will describe software she builds to support health insurers, and Justin Lawler from We Savvy in Ireland will describe how that software can be configured to deliver maximum benefit.

Guy Gross will explain how careful segmentation of insured populations by PAMs can substantially reduce (more…)

Digital health for pets – more

Our item on telehealth for pets has prompted Prof Mike Short to draw my attention to an article on digital health at Crufts over the weekend. Offerings include:

  • PitPat, a fully-fledged fitness tracker for dogs, particularly to help avoid obesity;
  • AnimAlarm, makers of a heat sensor for dogs in cars (similar perhaps to the heat sensor for babies in cars that won a previous Blue Blazes award), have now branched out to create what is claimed to be the world’s first auto-inflating life jacket (for dogs presumably – the technology’s been around for humans for a while). Described as a life-saving piece of equipment, it is aimed at “giving pooches everywhere a fighting chance should they be thrown overboard at sea”. (Is the logic that if dogs have to be protected from owners that leave them in hot cars, they’ll need protection from owners doing other crazy things too?)