The digitisation of medical records and the collection of health data on apps and wearable technology means that there is extensive underwriting data available to insurers. The new project will explore how this can be used to benefit consumers by providing improved access to insurance and protection products.
The CII said that the partnership could be particularly beneficial for customers with pre-existing conditions who could benefit from faster application and claims processes. The claims process can currently vary from days to weeks, largely due to the time it takes to establish medical information.
“In an ideal world, digitisation of medical records should create far greater engagement between patients and their medical conditions to improve their prognosis and increase their wellbeing. We are already seeing this through the growth in health apps and to some extent though the availability of data through summary care records available on line. For consumers, it could lead to greater trust and claims certainty because underwriting would be based on medical records and not applicant memory. As for GPs, it could create cost savings and save time responding to life insurance medical report requests,” said Richard Walsh, Fellow of SAMI and research lead. “The CII and SAMI are consulting with a wide range of stakeholders across the medical profession, insurance sector and consumer groups to collect evidence for a report, which will be published later in the year. The report will lay the foundation for secure, ethical sharing of digital data in order to benefit consumers.”
Dr Matthew Connell, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at the CII, said: “Consumers are more aware than ever of the value and importance of their personal data, and this initiative is an excellent example of professionals taking the initiative in setting strong standards that both protect consumers and realise the opportunities involved in digitisation. New technology is moving fast, and we will explore how the future might look like in this field. While our focus will be on protection insurance there may also be implications for other sectors regarding sharing digitised medical information.”