DIGITAL HEALTH BRIEFING: Health insurer startup fills gaps left by incumbents — Helix expands clinical genomic tests — Australia launches $200M digital health research center

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FRENCH STARTUP INSURER TARGETS GAPS LEFT BY LARGER INSURERS: Alan, a French health insurance startup, raised $28 million in its most recent funding round, according to TechCrunch. The company offers software-as-a-service insurance with a one-size-fits-all approach to pricing. Alan plans to use the funding to grow its staff from 22 to 80 by December 2018. Alan has aims to reach €100 million ($124 million) in recurring as soon as possible.

For the moment, Alan is targeting smaller companies in France. This is partly because smaller companies are underserved by big insurance companies, and partly because it’s easier to convince smaller companies to switch insurers. The service covers 850 companies in France, amounting to around 7,000 employees. Alan plans to expand beyond France to take advantage of additional opportunities in Europe.

A key to the insurer’s growth is its simple, transparent interface and one-size fits all pricing model:

The cost of covering an employee and their family with Alan is the same no matter what type of company. However, it does rise for older employees.
The online dashboard — available on the web and mobile app — allows users to control and view all their health expenses.
Moreover, Alan allows its customers to integrate life insurance coverage from CNP Assurances into the same interface — CNP Assurances is one of Alan’s investors.

Rising healthcare coverage costs is making service-based insurers, such as Alan, or Oscar Health and Clover Health in the US, very attractive to employers. Globally, medical benefit costs are accelerating, estimated to have grown almost 8% in 2017, up from 7.3% in 2016, according to Willis Towers Watson. And while growth is slower in Europe compared to the US, it’s still higher than overall inflation growth. Services that provide employers transparency in costs and offer an easy-to-use interface will continue to see growth at the expense of larger legacy insurers.

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GENOMICS PLATFORM WADES INTO CLINICAL TESTING: Helix, a personal genomics company, announced two partnerships last week that further expand the company’s offerings to include clinical services on top of its direct-to-consumer products, according to Genomeweb.

PerkinElmer, a medtech company, offers a product that analyses 59 genes that deal with a range of issues, such as allergies to common anesthetics and the BRCA gene, which is associated with high risks for certain types of cancer.
Northshore University Health System’s test looks for prostate cancer risks. The offering is already used within the health system for its patients.

Helix differentiates itself from most consumer genetic firms because it doesn’t develop actual tests. Rather, the firm developed a marketplace for other genomics companies to sell their services. After Helix collects and sequences a …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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