Article August 18, 2021

Top five exposures for digital healthcare providers

Digital healthcare is quickly becoming mainstream and for many patients it is already an everyday part of their lives. As the traditional healthcare market transitions into its new digital self, understanding how this affects existing risks and exposures will help providers and practitioners put in place effective insurance cover.

Digital healthcare is a broad spectrum and includes:

  • Telemed/telehealth: the provision of healthcare services via various telecommunication channels, enabling patients to interact with healthcare professionals remotely.
  • mHealth: the use of mobile devices to assist in delivering healthcare. It covers everything from wearables to mobile apps that assist in patient diagnosis and/or treatment.
  • Remote patient monitoring: systems used by healthcare professionals to access real-time patient data, allowing them to manage treatment plans and enact early interventions where necessary.
  • Artificial intelligence: used in many areas such as patient chatbots, image analysis technology and diagnostic tools.

Digital healthcare supports faster and more efficient practices and has the potential to reduce costs. It makes location less important and allows for the delivery of remote healthcare.

Where digital healthcare services are provided across areas with different regulatory or legal frameworks, providers and practitioners need to understand at what point changing liabilities take force. Here are the top five exposures for digital healthcare providers to consider:

  1. Bodily injury from cyber events and system outages

    Digital healthcare advances mean there is the potential for cyber events and system outages to cause bodily injury. A modern policy will provide cover for not only bodily injury as a result of a negligent act, but also as a result of such a cyber event or system outage.

  2. Technology E&O

    As technology becomes more integral to healthcare delivery, there are greater exposures associated with the supply, development, installation and maintenance of such systems. These exposures should be considered when putting in place an insurance programme

  3. Product failure

    Wearable devices are taking on a prominent role in the delivery of digital healthcare and they are an expanding area of risk for the sector. In addition to these wearables, any tangible device that has been manufactured, altered, distributed or installed by a digital health company should be covered for the risk of failing to perform.

  4. Cyber and privacy

    Digital healthcare companies are collecting increasing amounts of patient data at the same time as facing greater risks from criminals and tougher rules from regulators. Cyber and privacy insurance should be tailored to a company’s specific exposures. It should include a separate section for extortion and extend to cover regulatory fines and penalties.    

  5. Automatic cover for physicians and medical practitioners

    An employee’s classification can have an impact on the cover offered. To eliminate confusion, look for a definition of ‘employee’ that automatically extends to physicians or medical practitioners offering services on the company’s behalf.

A comprehensive digital health policy is designed to fill the gaps that exist between individual healthcare, cyber and technology policies. Digital healthcare is a collaboration of all three classes, and this is recognised and reflected in CFC’s dedicated eHealth policy. Find out more about digital healthcare and the policy here.