Dr Joseph Kvedar Discusses Wearables and the Patient-Insurer Relationship

How new technologies like mHealth and wearables may affect insurance providers and patient costs, according to Joseph C. Kvedar, MD, vice president of Connected Health at Partners HealthCare.

How new technologies like mHealth and wearables may affect insurance providers and patient costs, according to Joseph C. Kvedar, MD, vice president of Connected Health at Partners HealthCare.

Transcript (modified)

How will mHealth and wearables change the patient-insurer relationship?

Well the most interesting example of that is a firm called Oscar, which you might be aware of. It’s a new, innovative insurer and they’ve set up a program where if people wear an “activity tracker,” they can get credit on their premium cost for being more active. I expected to see that happen. Progressive Insurance, which is an auto insurance company, has a program where if you put a sensor on your car and you drive safely, they’ll give you premium credits. So I expect more and more of that to happen in the insurance industry.

Maybe what you’ll see in the next few years is a bit of a divergence because the focus will be on healthcare providers who monitor things like blood pressure and diabetes, and these insurers may take up the improvement in health with their employer colleagues. That would make some sense because there are wearables that fit both categories now.