Digital Health & Telemedicine

What Do Inside Tracker, 23andMe, Levels, Apple Watch, and Insurance All Have in Common?

As a risk management professional, it is important that I understand how my clients’ operations work and then address how best to protect them. Full disclosure, Inside Tracker, 23andMe, Levels, and Apple are not my clients…I am their customer. But I have always been an early adopter of new technologies and only recently noticed how well my curiosity has served me as an insurance broker for many companies like these.

It all started with the Nike Sensor, the Fitbit, and eventually the Apple Watch all tied to apps on my Apple Phone. I have since graduated to monitoring my glucose with Levels in conjunction with a continuous glucose monitor (even though I am not diabetic). Additionally, I also track other biomarkers with Inside Tracker. I have become a tracker junkie. “What gets measured gets managed,” is my motto. The information I glean from these trackers can be useful depending upon what I want to measure; number of steps, exercise minutes, hours of sleep, calories burned, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. I can then take that information and refine my efforts/outcomes with the hopes of improving my health and longevity.

Over the years, the evolution of wearables and devices measuring and monitoring your body has grown and it has become difficult to keep up. Simultaneously, the growth of telemedicine and digital health companies has exploded. Need a doctor? You can now search for doctors based on availability, location, insurance, reviews, and more. You can see a doctor online for medical advice, prescriptions, and referrals without leaving home. Get physical therapy care from home without copays and office visits. Therapy and counseling, both online, via text, chat or video. These advancements in healthcare technology is exciting and creates greater access for everyone. However, it also comes with concerns and challenges with regards to access, security of personal health data, and prescribing practices to name a few. As of yet, it isn't entirely possible to do every type of visit remotely, after all you still have to go into the office for things like imaging tests and blood work, as well as for diagnoses that require a more hands-on approach.

Working with companies like these it is critical that we assist them to better understand their exposures and how they can best address them all while protecting their balance sheet. For many, cyber liability, errors and omissions, and data privacy are key exposures. For some, it is medical malpractice liability and helping our clients navigate the various state requirements. Some companies have products that could cause bodily injury to others and we can also provide solutions for those risks.

If we go back to trackers and data, telemedicine and digital health companies must continue to work to help users navigate this data and provide feedback on what needs to be improved or changed, by how much, and by which methods. It’s also important that these companies work with insurance subject matter experts that understand their operations and what risk management strategies and programs can be tailored specifically for their needs. As both a user buyer of these platforms/services and a risk management specialist, there is not a one size fits all solution.

Please reach out to our Newfront digital health and telemedicine insurance specialists to discuss your specific insurance needs.

Cristina Varner
The Author
Cristina Varner

National Life Science & Healthcare Practice Leader

Cristina Varner is the Life Science Practice Leader, leading a team of experienced account management professionals that service approximately 300 life science accounts. With 20+ years in the risk management field, Cristina is one of the industry’s foremost experts in complex Product Liability exposures and Clinical Trials insurance all over the world. She is the founder of the Life Science Practice at both her former employer and Newfront, deploying her vast experience with life science companies from start-up to grown up.

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