Do you know your “Quealth” score yet – chances are the health conscious amongst us might.
A Nottingham-based health-tech firm, roadtohealth has bagged $4m of investment from Reinsurance Group of America, one of the world’s largest life and health reinsurers, after RGA took a minority stake in the business, with further investments planned dependent upon “performance and other criteria”.
The investment, roadtohealth said in a statement, will allow the firm to “accelerate its global growth and product enhancement plans for Quealth”.
What does Quealth do? The app, available for download from the App store, Google Play, the Samsung galaxy App Store and even Lenovo’s recently released App Explorer, helps “health conscious people assess how at risk they are from one or more of the five major non-communicable – and largely preventable – diseases in the developed world; diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, dementia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).”
The app has been clinically validated by representatives of the University of Nottingham, and employs its own team of clinical experts as well as a clinical expert panel. The company uses proprietary algorithms – all of which have obtained an AUC score (a “globally recognized measure of how accurately they can predict clinical outcomes”) between 0.77-0.80 – to try to calculate patients’ chances of contracting one of the above diseases.
The algorithms get their data from in-depth interviews with patients which cover “family medical history, biometrics and lifestyle”.
Based on the “Quealth” score between 1 and 100 that is subsequently calculated, the app has the ability to provide “evidence based content and coaching drawn from the latest behavioural change science to drive sustainable lifestyle improvements.”
Quealth’s founders say that the app will soon be able to provide live biometric and activity data “from hundreds of different mobile apps and wearable devices.” The device is also compatible with wearable devices like Fitbit, Jawbone, and Garmin products.
roadtohealth CEO Alistair Wickens commented “RGA is an ideal investor and partner for roadtohealth; they share the same deep understanding of health risk scoring systems and are conscious of how fast the world is changing when it comes to individuals needing to understand their health risks and wanting the tools to improve them”.
“This first stage investment enables us to work with academic bodies around the world to incorporate regional factors as well as to accelerate our distribution discussions with electronics manufacturers, health and charitable bodies and the medical, life and health insurance markets.”
The potential value of an app such as Quealth, lies in its ability not only to reveal what health risks patients are likely to face, but also to provide ongoing advice and consultancy which can help improve patients chances of living longer.
“Clearly”, says Dr Philip Smalley, Senior Vice President and Chief Mediacal Officer of RGA International Corporation, the RGA subsidiary which is making the investment, “Quealth has the credentials to make its scoring system and the inputs used to generate it relevant to our insurance business.”
Roadtohealth was founded in 2002, and has successfully partnered with multinationals including Aviva, Samsung and HSBC, as well as Patient.info.
RGA is said to have $3.1 trillion of life reinsurance in place and assets of $53.9 billion.
As the baby-boomer generation mature and start to make plans for retirement (if they have not done so already), still enjoying life as much as ever, Life Extension technology will surely become increasingly sought after, and results closely monitored by all generations.
The process of ageing itself is viewed by many entrepreneurs, evangelists and scientists as conquerable and billions are currently being invested into discovering more and more effective ways to combat the onset of old age, be it through diet, exercise, or sheer mental fortitude.
Insurers directly benefit from such investigations too – the potential size of this market threatens to put others in the shade, particularly if the baby-boomers decide to divert more and more of their savings into trying to prolong their lives for as long as they possibly can.