Sally Powell, General Manager, PAI Health, and Professor Ulrik Wisløff, of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology
According to the World Health Organization, 31 per cent of deaths worldwide are caused by cardiovascular disease (CVD). The American Heart Association estimates that CVD-associated costs in the United States alone could rise from $555 billion today to $1.1 trillion by 2035. In addition, people with CVD and other lifestyle-related diseases are more susceptible to other conditions, such as viral infections and type 2 diabetes.
While insurers often associate innovation with enterprise-wide digital transformation, the rising trend of lifestyle diseases challenges insurers to explore long-term innovations in population health management and engagement. Insurers are increasingly turning to digital health solutions to help guide members towards better health, while leveraging solutions such as wearables to attract new consumers and reframe conversations with their policyholders. These solutions can also make people who were previously uninsurable, because of previous health conditions, improve their health and become eligible for coverage.
Limitations of today’s activity recommendations
Leading health organisations agree that most lifestyle-related morbidity and mortality could be prevented through behavioral changes such as an improved diet and increased physical activity. However, commonly used guidelines – such as 10,000 steps or 150 minutes of moderate activity per week – are not personalised and can be difficult for the average person to adhere to. Even using wearable technology, it can be difficult to know just how much and what kind of physical activity is enough as a unique individual.
The genesis of PAI
The question of how much exercise is enough is one that Professor Ulrik Wisløff, of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, was trying to solve when he began exploring the relationship between intensity of exercise and long-term mortality. His mission was to find a solution that could help everyday people understand insights from their heart rate, typically captured by fitness trackers and smartwatches. Professor Wisløff and his team developed the Personal Activity Intelligence (PAI) algorithm as the solution, which is based on personal profile and heart rate data, calculating a PAI Score that factors in intensity and duration from the past week’s activity.
A personalised physical activity prescription
PAI tracks the body’s response to all activity and tells the individual if they’re doing enough for optimal health benefits – with 100 PAI being the universal ideal goal.
The PAI metric has been validated and published in several leading journals, with proven results, including a study published in The American Journal of Medicine that showed individuals who maintained 100 PAI or more had on average a 25 per cent lower risk of CVD mortality and an extended lifespan of five years.
How PAI delivers value to insurers
PAI Health is focused on making this unique prescription for exercise available to as many people as possible through its software application and API solutions. The company is seeking global partnerships with life and health insurers, technology platforms and public health systems to bring this solution to market in an impactful way.
By integrating with PAI Health, insurers can improve member engagement and satisfaction, as well as develop solutions that enable dynamic risk profiling and science-backed precision analytics. This will allow them to tackle the exponential rise in lifestyle diseases and rising claims costs head-on. This also opens opportunities to appeal to new customers through innovative value propositions and personalised experiences.
There’s never been a better time for insurers to augment their population risk management strategy by starting a dialogue with their customers, leveraging the wearables they are already using and empowering them with life-saving tools.
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