The COVID-19 pandemic has propelled digital health onto the global stage, as healthcare providers around the world seek to leverage technology to help combat the crisis.
This, in combination, with worldwide trends towards the digitization of medicine, has resulted in rapid technological adoption and accelerating digital health transformations.
This digital health (r)evolution will profoundly and permanently reshape how healthcare is accessed and provided; a metamorphosis that is likely to produce novel and unexpected risks and consequent liability.
The global pandemic has served to escalate the ‘eHealth conversation’ within the healthcare property and casualty (P&C) community as insurance insurers, brokers and our clients grapple with real-time liability and insurance implications of the rapid escalation in digital health deployment, adoption and investment.
We have already seen evidence that the convergence of technology and healthcare can produce both economic and bodily harms.
We have already seen evidence that the convergence of technology and healthcare can produce both economic and bodily harms.”David Kennedy | Willis Towers Watson
The convergence of healthcare and technology is not a new phenomenon; consider the introduction of computers into the healthcare system in the 1960s, the launch of the da Vinci robotic surgical system in 2000 and increasingly sophisticated CT scan systems.
Yet, digital health innovation is a distinguishable technological transformative force that also encapsulates profound cultural shifts and an altogether new way of working within healthcare.
As the next frontier of technological advancement in healthcare, there are great expectations about digital health’s positive disruptive potential.
The digital health ecosystem encompasses a myriad of technologies and concepts.
Highlighted below are some of the digital health segments and is by no means exhaustive:
Here are some of the digital health segments and is by no means exhaustive:
Often there are not clear lines between these categories within digital health, as the technologies often overlap and have interdependencies.
There are substantial challenges that the digital health industry faces that must be considered within any insurance and liability analysis:
There are a multiplicity of activities, entities and thus corresponding exposures and harms that can arise in digital health contexts:
In any emerging and rapidly growing field it is important to remain attentive to shifting liability and insurance conditions.
In any emerging and rapidly growing field it is important to remain attentive to shifting liability and insurance conditions.”David Kennedy
Willis Towers Watson
Digital health advancements are catalyzing deployment of novel delivery and operational models that may in turn produce unforeseen perils and new flows of liability.
Digital health exposures can arise through the provision of technological products and services to patients, providers, payors and a variety of other stakeholders, both within and outside of clinical settings.
There are an extremely wide variety of digital health products and services that are increasingly being utilized in new settings and in new ways.
In such a rapidly evolving field with limited regulatory guidance and little to no legal precedent, how can risk managers and insurance professionals determine what type of insurance coverage they need?
Download our whitepaper: The Future of Digital Health to find out more.
In this whitepaper we also cover how regional insurance markets are responding to these emerging risks.
|The Future of Digital Health
1 Pagliari C, Sloan D, Gregor P, Sullivan F, Detmer D, Kahan JP, et al. What Is eHealth (4): A Scoping Exercise to Map the Field. J Med Internet Res. 2005;7(1):e9.