Innovations in the technology and financial sectors have driven fintech into a global industry. Sitting at the intersection of finance and digital technologies, innovations such as mobile money, block chain, and artificial intelligence within the financial sector have drastically improved convenience, inclusiveness, and access. The applications of fintech have steeped into various sectors, particularly healthcare. In our earlier posts, the Fintech for Health China team focused on fintech empowering healthcare for healthy populations and underserved populations, including low-income, elderly, and patients with rare diseases. In this article, we home in on the growing population living with chronic illnesses.

As with many countries in Asia, the aging population and the size of the demographic shift, China has reached a tipping point where health conditions have transitioned from infectious diseases to chronic diseases. Research published on Frontiers in Public Health, focusing on chronic illness, and aging in China stated that almost 80% of deaths in China in people aged 60 years are from chronic diseases, with the most burdensome being Ischemic Heart Disease, Stroke, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and Type 2 Diabetes. Behavioral risks including smoking, alcohol consumption, sedentary behavior and poor dietary intake contribute significantly to these conditions. Chronic diseases, if left unmonitored and unmanaged, require expensive and frequent treatments, increasing the financial and health burden for the patient. Therefore, there is a rising need for better chronic disease management and treatment, starting with prevention, early intervention, and monitoring.

Utilizing fintech and health tech-based solutions have shown to help alleviate various healthcare management needs, particularly in chronic disease management, telemedicine and drugs purchasing, as well as self-management for maintaining independence and quality of life. The following are a few examples of chronic disease management solutions through the integration of digital therapeutics (DTx), health management, and Insurtech:

Improving medical adherence for chronic diseases with digital therapeutics and InsurTech – Miao Health, China and Wellthy Therapeutics, Singapore

Miao Health is one of China’s largest digital health platforms that utilizes behaviour data and artificial intelligence. It is a subsidiary of China Pacific Insurance Company, (CPIC), one of the largest insurance companies in China. With a digitalized health management platform, Miao Health uses artificial intelligence and big data to offer digital-based services that help manage health, provide medical treatment and medicine, alert users, and healthcare providers to potential future issues, and collect data to improve health risk assessments. The Platform has incorporated over 7,000 scientific documents, allowing it to recognize over 3000 unusual indicators, which enables it to offer advice to its users, to help mitigate over 100 key risk factors, and pre-emptive health alerts for over 1300 diseases. Since its establishment in 2015, Miao Health now has over 100 million users to date.

Miao Health offers a series of solutions for both corporations and individuals. It works with insurance partners to build joint digital platforms, designing tailored solutions for different population groups. Miao Health also works closely with corporations, designing personalized group insurance for the companies, as well as offer health management services for the employees. Lastly, Miao collaborates with pharmaceutical companies for better chronic disease management. Ultimately, through the combination of AI, online + offline service models, lifestyle management and chronic disease medications purchases, Miao Health can offer a full range of health management solution.

Wellthy Therapeutics, a Mumbai and Singapore operated company, is a leading digital therapeutics company working across Europe and Asia with the mission to bridge the gap for better health outcomes, by enabling digital care for complex clinical conditions. It collaborates with insurance partners, creating a tool that allows for patients to better engage and manage patients, improve health outcomes, providing a value-based care.

This integration between Wellthy’s digital therapeutics solution and InsurTech allows insurers to measure risk behaviour of the users more accurately by acquiring personalized and real-time patient data using wearable devices and sensors, monitoring elements such as users’ lifestyle habits, treatment receptiveness, and medical adherence. Studies have shown that through therapeutic interventions, with AI enable digital therapeutic technology, positive outcomes on patients/policyholders with chronic diseases. Further, this combination reduces the frequency and duration of hospitalization and minimizing claim costs for insurers who have partnered with digital therapeutics companies.

Building a Health Management Ecosystem – JD Health, China

JD Health is an online pharmacy, medical appointment booking platform, and provider of telemedicine and other healthcare services. It is a spin off company from, China’s second-biggest ecommerce company after Alibaba. JD Health has launched its first health insurance product, “Family Doctor Insurance”. The product integrates health management services with insurance and relevant services, from claims settlement to disease management and prevention. This solution offers insured family members aged between 28 days to 70 years old full access to JD Health’s “Family Doctor” telemedicine services for timely health advice and management support. Patients’ medical expenses will be covered according to the insurance plans designed by JD Health and its insurance partners, such as Allianz JD and Fosun Health.
JD’s Family Doctor Insurance solution integrates with JD Health’s ecosystem of medical, pharma and insurance services, bringing a comprehensive solution to the patients/policyholders. Its family doctors team covers five main areas including internal medicine, surgery, gynecology, pediatrics, and Traditional Chinese Medicine with more expert support from 18 special medical centers which specialize in cardiovascular, psychosocial, diabetes, nephropathy, tumor-related diseases and more.

The intersection between fintech and health tech has become a commonplace to broaden and bridge the accessibility and affordability gaps for health care, beyond boundaries and culture. The healthcare industry is already supposed to have a patient-centered approach but integrating fintech solutions can perfect this approach and improve patient health and quality of life. Fintech and health tech integration have allowed for healthcare to be more personalized, by integrating insurance, medicine, and health management into a solution.

By integrating different ecosystem players from the medical, pharmaceutical and health insurance and technology sectors, the gap between medical and health demand and supply has diminished. People will chronic diseases as well as their families have increasingly more control and a strengthened sense of security for their own well-being.

Authors: Tina JA, Director for Strategic Consulting, ASK Health

For more information contact [email protected]