Insurance for diabetics: a partnership between Google-Alphabet and John Hancock

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is gaining more and more popularity in the healthcare sector and is now approaching the insurance one. In the US, the agreement with Hancock will lead to a new type of policy for diabetes patients, increasing worldwide

Published on 05 Nov 2019

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, and its high-tech competitors, including Apple and Amazon, are looking for investments in healthcare to leverage their digital networks and, in Alphabet case, its artificial intelligence expertise. Insurance carriers, on the other hand, are looking for technology partners to meet new challenges. 

Diabetes rates, for example, are unfortunately increasing worldwide, which on the one hand results in new needs from patients and healthcare systems (a patient with diabetes costs about three times more than a non-diabetic one), and on the other hand, creates new opportunities for companies to develop innovative solutions. The insurance sector is, of course, one of the most involved, since the digital transformation allows and develops new business models and therefore policies. Data and technologies are the key. 

This is the case with Alphabet (namely Verily, the subsidiary that deals with life science and healthcare) and the U.S. insurance company John Hancock (insurance branch of Manulife Financial Corporation) and the virtual clinic for diabetes Onduo: basically it is a policy for diabetics combined with a program that, through Onduo’s virtual clinic, provides diabetes management, support, coaching and premiums, as well as potential savings on premiums of up to 25%. 

According to John Hancock in a press release, diabetes remains the seventh most common cause of death in the United States, with 1.5 million Americans being diagnosed each year. Half of the more than 30 million Americans affected by diabetes have no or limited life insurance policy. In addition, even those receiving high-quality healthcare products, do not always have access to personalized, cutting-edge diabetes management support. 

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