On health and insurances tomorrow with Cécile Wendling

We are pleased to share with our readers yet another short but interesting interview conducted at the latest Global Forum with Dr. Cécile Wendling:

Please introduce yourself and tell us about your participation at Global Forum.

I’m the head of foresight at AXA and I’m also a researcher, an associate researcher at the center of sociology of organizations in Paris (Centre de sociologie des organisations (CNRS-SCIENCES PO PARIS) in sociology of risks and catastrophes). Today we are at the Global Forum and I will speak at the Digital Communities Session about the future of health, I will explain what are the new trends and I will talk about the health of tomorrow. For AXA it is very important to consider the role of Digital Communities. We think that there are a lot of people that are not covered by insurance today: most of the time they are too “rich” to have a public coverage and too “poor” to have a private coverage. But we think that these people could access insurance with digital tools.

How do you see the Health Sector develop in the next decades ?

The Health is going to be really revolutionized by Big Data first of all. There is a lot of Data Sets that we could not exploit before and that we will manage to use. This data is more and more “cross-sectorial”, so you can cross data of mobility with data of health etc.
Second, there will be new actors entering the game because there is a question of prevention and how well-being can enhance health. It is very important to know today which are the prevention tools that are working and those that are not working; one of the big issue is how do we measure the impact of prevention.
Third, the new tools can empower patients so that they can have more information about their disease and be a more active actor in their treatment . This is of course going to change the relationship between the patient and all the people around him.
Fourth, there will be a new way for people to share their problems and be insured globally. We see more and more start-ups who bring together people who share a disease but also share coverage. This is an ecosystem that is moving quite fast.

Could you please repeat the example of women selling mangoes that you gave us during the conference preparation meeting ?

Yes, it was about the fact that there are a lot of people that are not covered by the insurance. There is this example in Vietnam of women selling mangoes and water in front of bus stations and Bel – the group Bel – wanted them to sell their product La Vache qui rit® and the women refused at first. They were asked if there’s anything that’ll make them change their decision; the women set obtaining a coverage for accidents as a condition. Most of the time they arrive in the morning on a bicycle and if they have an accident it is the entire family who is at an income loss. Bel then promised to turn to an insurance company for a micro-insurance.

The example is very interesting because there is no contact between the insurance company and the women but it’s Bel who is embedding the insurance coverage into the program. This is also existing in Mexico with Oriflame. It is not only one story, there are many cases today. And we really think at AXA that this is the future of insurance, that we can embed the insurance for those people who have difficulty to access it.
Another example that I can give is parametric insurance in Africa that we are working on. It is very difficult to cover farmers of agriculturists if there is a drought for example and nobody insures them. There’s today satellite data that measures the level of humidity in the soil and as soon as the soil is under certain threshold of humidity an insurance system/ payment is triggered. Because of the satellite data and mobile payment we can reach people and afford to insure people we couldn’t before.

The future will certainly lie in the new tools for the better good of people.

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