Australia: national digital health strategy
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Big tech moving into health data - one path to monetisation is insurance

There are alarmist articles about big tech's move into health care data. I'm more relaxed about that myself. I already share my wearable data with at least two big tech companies and one insurer. I'm not worried about having adverts more specifically targeted to me.

New Zealand is a funny market for health anyway. Think of asthma medication (which I take) the market is a hybrid one. It includes the government, my doctor, and me. The decision making process is not straightforward, so it is not immediately obvious how advertising a new asthma drug directly to me might monetise the data.

Insurance, on the other hand, is a viable path to monetising health data. If a big tech company already has all your medical records, whereas a fuddy-duddy old insurer has to collect them, the tech company will be able to offer a much quicker, and probably more accurate underwriting process. That could be a huge advantage.

There is a risk that many national insurance markets could effectively fall to the gatherer of the most information. Companies like Alphabet look best placed to win such a race. Governments that wish to maintain a more open playing field should consider opening up their own stores of health data, and place the power in the hands of the individual to decide who gets to see that information. That would be good for consumers, and good for competition, which is good for consumers too. Click here to read more. 


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