Article September 14, 2021

Is digital healthcare insurance right for my business?

The rapid development of the digital healthcare market is helping to build a healthier future for patients. But for the companies and practitioners involved in this pioneering sector there are risks and exposures to understand if they want to keep themselves in fine fettle.

It’s not that these risks and exposures are unmanageable. It’s just that they do not always fit neatly into the established risk frameworks for traditional healthcare practices, activities and equipment.

So, what sort of issues should you be thinking about when it comes to insurance for your digital healthcare business and what gaps in traditional insurance cover might you want to plug?

A new wave of healthcare

Advances in digital technology have enabled the healthcare market to expand way beyond its previous boundaries. We now have wearable devices that monitor our vital statistics and feed data into remote analysis and diagnostic tools.

We consult with doctors and nurses via email, text and videocall. Increasingly, we don’t even engage with a person. Instead, we ‘speak’ to a chatbot and rely on its artificial intelligence to provide accurate guidance and information.

Similarly, algorithms now analyse images of our ailments and provide diagnoses and treatment plans for us to follow.

The advances have enabled some of the poorest and most remote patients in the world to access sophisticated medical expertise in a timely and affordable fashion. These developments have made healthcare delivery more efficient and significantly improved patient outcomes.

But in the face of this fast-evolving market, traditional healthcare, cyber and technology insurance policies have struggled to keep up with the changing risk profiles of those involved.  

Mind the gap

As digital technology becomes an everyday part of medical practice, its associated risks need to be addressed with clarity and certainty.

For example, if a doctor fails to adequately assess a patient and their symptoms via a telemedicine consultation, which leads to misdiagnosis and delayed treatment, would a traditional malpractice policy cover the resulting losses?

And if the misdiagnosis is due to a poor-quality image sent by mobile phone, is the healthcare professional or the technology provider at fault? Who bears the liability?

In general, technology E&O insurers will only extend cover to losses arising out of technology activities and do not tend to offer any form of bodily injury cover. Similarly, cyber insurers usually exclude all forms of bodily injury from their cover.

In the event of a claim, the last thing patients, practitioners and/or digital healthcare companies need is a protracted round of finger-pointing between the various insurance providers.

A comprehensive digital health policy takes into account the fact that medical, cyber and technology exposures now overlap. Such a policy provides cover specifically designed to plug the gaps between individual policies covering these different areas of risk.

Are your clients involved in digital healthcare? Do they interact with patients or practitioners or provide a product or service used by either party? If so, CFC’s eHealth policy may offer a more convenient and comprehensive option than traditional insurance policies when it comes to meeting their needs. Find out more here or contact healthcare@cfcunderwriting.com