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article imageJohn Hancock's Vitality platform sees big user growth

By Tim Sandle     Nov 28, 2018 in Business
Insurance company John Hancock and behavior change platform Vitality have released data that shows those who wear an Apple Watch and participate in the Vitality Active Rewards program take part in increased physical activity.
John Hancock recently entered into a partnership with Vitality to integrate life insurance with a comprehensive healthy living program for U.S. consumers. The aim of the program is to offer potential for savings on annual insurance premiums, plus discounts and rewards from leading retailers, to those taking out health or life insurance. The program also intends to encourage policyholders to take small steps to improve their health.
As Digital Journal reported earlier, there are two tiers of insurance on offer. The first is the basic Vitality GO scheme, which provides fitness and nutrition advice and resources. Through these, as people hit goals and milestones they will be rewarded through discounts at "major outlets." The second tier is Vitality PLUS. Here those taking out insurance can be awarded up to a 15 percent discount on premiums, together with rewards for exercising, eating healthy and getting regular check ups.
The initiative has received a boost in the form of a study into 'incentivized schemes'. The study, which was based around use of the Apple Watch, using data from 400,000 people, demonstrates that people seem to be prepared to dramatically increase their exercise levels if they are offered tangible rewards. The study's results may provide benefits in relation to preventive medicine.
Much of the data was drawn from John Hancock's partnership with Vitality, where either Apple Watch or Fitbit devices was offered to premium life insurance policyholders. The data from the device was shared with analysts RAND Europe, both to offer benefits and to assess whether incentive-based insurance works.
The findings revealed that an average 34 percent increase in activity levels occurred when people wore an Apple Watch compared to those who did not. This equates to 4.8 extra days of activity per month. The results show how behavior change can be nudged in lifestyle areas that affect health and wellness.
Commenting on the findings, Brooks Tingle, president and CEO of John Hancock Insurance said: "The Apple Watch has been an extremely popular and effective component of our program to date, helping our customers not only live healthier lives through better exercise and mindfulness habits – but also improve their financial wellness through the rewards our program offers, including lower premiums and discounts from some of their favorite national retailers."
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