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Oct 2022

Taiwanese start-up makes underwriting diabetes easier

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Jul 2021

InsurTech Life & Health

Founded in Taiwan, Health2Sync’s data analytics provide unique insights on diabetics which could help insurers underwrite more tailored policies.   
By Ridwan Abbas
Slowing down the rise in healthcare costs is something that governments and insurers are keen to achieve, and one way to do this is through early diagnosis and effective treatment of chronic diseases that are responsible for a large portion of healthcare expenses.
Advances in digital health solutions makes this a distinct possibility, and Taiwanese start-up Health2Sync has spent the last seven years refining the management of diabetes through its mobile app and analytics engine. Its platform allows diabetics to self-manage their blood glucose through an array of tools and services available on their mobile phone, and in some cases, connect users directly to healthcare providers that are using Health2sync’s patient management web solution.
Ed Deng“We have close to 660,000 registered users and many of them track their diabetes biomarkers and so we know who is doing well and who needs help,” co-founder and CEO Ed Deng told Asia Insurance Review.   
Personalised diabetes care
One of the benefits of the Health2Sync app is that it provides personalised care to diabetics by regularly offering guidance on ways to manage their condition, something that is not possible in a traditional doctor-patient relationship.
“Patients find it hard to get guidance if they’re meeting their doctor once every two or three months. You may be taking insulin but there is no feedback for weeks, and patients need intervention so that their behaviour can be adjusted accordingly.
“So, we enable the real-time data and patients can make sense of that data, and then we can provide the necessary diabetes education accordingly.”
Health2Sync also provides advice through online portals – where it manages the largest chronic disease health blog in Taiwan and Japan – as well as through a chatbot function in its app which processes patient data and provides alerts and tips on a weekly basis for users to manage their disease.
Health2Sync currently works with over 200 healthcare providers, and one of its most recent partnerships with pharmaceutical giant Sanofi will see Health2Sync’s digital solution applied in 300 clinics and hospitals in Taiwan over the next two years.
Mr Deng concedes that partnership with the insurance industry has yet to reach the same scale, but he believes that is set to change as the company is able to provide deep insights on data involving diabetics.
“Our analytics and the efficacy that we are able to demonstrate will enable transparency and allow for more targeted insurance products to be developed. Through the data and improved outcomes, we can also prove to insurers that if managed properly the risk will be reduced hence your revenue can increase without increasing your risk as an insurer,” he said.
In terms of insurance partnerships, the company has worked with the likes of Taiwan Life, Fubon and Nan Shan Life (formerly AIG) to provide value-added services for policyholders to manage their health. It also recently received regulatory approval to promote and underwrite diabetes insurance together with an insurance partner where, upon receiving user consent, the insurance company would be able to use a person’s data found on Health2Sync’s platform to underwrite a diabetes policy, On the back of this partnership, a new product is expected in the fourth quarter of this year, he added.
The company also has a partnership in Japan with Sompo Himawari Life to promote a series of diabetes products online.
Mr Deng said one of the challenges that insurers face is the difficulty in identifying and reaching diabetics among the policyholder pool.
“Insurance transactions are heavily reliant on agents, and access to target the right customers is an issue so this is something that needs to be solved in terms of the marketing channel.”
With the ability to access diabetics digitally and underwrite online, Health2Sync and its partners hope to bring further value and protection to patients.
Since its formation in 2013, Health2Sync has raised $11m in funding and currently operates in Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia. A 

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