Private players in both “Health” and “Life” Insurance play a big role in Australian healthcare.
However they are not historically known for their trailblazing with technology.
I can vouch for this personally when I say I have waged a very polite war on my health insurer for years about the fact you still cannot book appointments online for their services and I am swamped with paper and the same requests every time I interact with them.
But I digress.
What they do have is deep pockets, and as the activity has ballooned in the Australian healthtech scene over the past few years, insurers are laying their bets.
Here are three prominent examples of insurers and their plays in healthtech:
One of the first serious startups in the telehealth platform scene in Australia, GP2U was courted by HCF in 2016 resulting in a 15% stake investment. In 2021 GP2U was bought outright by UK powerhouse Doctor Care Anywhere, and to this day is still available for free to HCF customers.
In recent years AIA have arguably been the most active in testing partnerships in digital health, with offerings to customers including engaging cancer patients in their care with Cancer Aid, encouraging better management of chronic care conditions with Perx Health and providing the public and their workplaces with a mental wellbeing platform in Mentemia (although technically this is a Kiwi-company).
Founded in 2020, LiveWell is an app-based service backed, owned and actually developed by its parent Zurich, with a focus on key pillars including setting and tracking goals, education, detecting and managing health with check-ins, gamified wellbeing challenges and the chance to access rewards.