Health Data Liquidity – A game changer for Life Insurers


“Big data will replace the need for 80% of all doctors.” – Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems and founder of Khosla Ventures.

If your car dealer would have told you that in order to get a car loan, you must first collect recommendation letters from all your banks, credit card issuers and past lenders, would you still do the deal or simply give up and walk away? 

Providing Loans and Credit is the life pulse of the banking industry. To serve this ever growing need, many new components had to be added to the old banking systems. But it is really one enabling capability that has driven the paradigm shift : It is “Data Liquidity”, a notion used to describe an ecosystem based on full interoperability and easy flow of normalized data between various systems.  In the past decade, financial institutions have made huge investments in IT to enable financial-data interoperability between all stake holders: banks, Clients, Lenders, Card issuers, etc. If data has long been coined: “the new oil”, than Data-Liquidity can be described as the ability to transport this oil to ensure its wide-spread and usage. Being approved for a loan in minutes is the result of financial Data-Liquidity. It is one example of many new applications and services that evolved from this capability.

The need for financial Data-Liquidity has led to the creation of many  Fintech startups, such as Plaid (founded 2012) which offers a SaaS product enabling users to link bank accounts to mobile applications. With that level of data liquidity, now the sky is the limit, and financial services are becoming features on Apps rather than the complex systems that they used to be for centuries.

While data liquidity has become the new normal for many industries such as: finance, media, academy, etc., there are sectors that have not progressed at the same pace. An example for a sector that is lagging, is the Life and Health insurance. Similar to the banking industry, insurance is highly regulated and issues such as data privacy have slowed down many modernizations initiatives, but there are signs of a paradigm shift in this industry as we enter a new decade and experiencing the Covid-19 pandemic. Analyzing the above thesis, we at Moneta have convinced ourselves that the missing link in the chain which is preventing life insurance from rapid growth (and many other sectors as well) is the lack of modern network that would contain and transport normalized-health-data at a high level of liquidity and interoperability. The industry is looking for a solution that can source health-data-records from healthcare providers (hospitals, Labs, etc.), normalize and store it, in a way that allows easy data-sharing on a unified ecosystem.

Until a system like that exist, applying for a loan will take minutes, and applying for Life insurance will keep taking 3-6 weeks. What Plaid has done for “my Wealth, is needed also for “My Health”.

Acknowledging this ‘white space’ in the market, Moneta has been looking for disruptive solutions and identified Human API, a CA-based startup, on a mission to enable health-data-Liquidity by building a network similar to that created by Plaid for financial data records. The company has built a real-time health data network that connects, normalizes, and structures data from 90% of the US’ healthcare providers (Hospitals, pharmacies, labs, wearable devices and fitness apps).

In this blog post we will discuss the real value of Human API and its vision for radically accelerating the pace of health innovation by giving consumers the easiest way to connect store and share their health data records with companies and applications that they trust.

Let us take a deeper look at what Human API are doing.

“Plaid” for health-Data-Records

In the past few years, the healthcare industry has made a big progress in digitization, especially with regards to documenting and managing data in digital format (EHRs). But the challenge of data liquidity remained unsolved, mainly because EHR data is stored in silos and due to the high cost of integration between systems and the extremely high regulation burdens.

About 5 years ago, Human API has embarked on a mission of connecting to almost every health data source across the USA and offering users to create an account on the platform that will provide  them with one unified storage facility for all they medical information. When the platform has been connected to over 28,000 health data sources, Human API added an offering for businesses such as Life Insurers to use its platform for accessing health data of users who granted permission to such companies. The service has gained significant popularity and today it is connected to sources of Health-Data covering over 260 million people in the US. This extensive network of health data positions Human API as the “Dropbox”/”Plaid” of “health data of America”, creating unique business opportunities for its customers and partners.

The business model is twofold: (i) companies such as Life Insurers are using Human API to cut on the massive time and cost needed for underwriting new policies and to process health-related claims. Instead of sending doctors to take blood from applicants and check their condition, they first look at their digital records on Human API and in most cases eliminate the additional doctor appointment. This is a life saver for a sector that has not been able to grow to its full potential in the past 30 years. The Life insurers are paying Human API SaaS and per-usage fees for the great value they are getting which allows them to offer an Amazon-Like experience for buying insurance, as opposed to buying it with an agent and a 4 weeks underwriting which involves  doctors appointments, blood tests and many forms and questionnaires. (ii) the second business model is for consumers  who wish to keep their health information on the platform updated and ready for sharing at all times in a ‘Dropbox’ like fashion.

Covid-19 and Human API

Many Americans are looking to purchase life insurance right now to protect their loved ones. “Too many Americans have little or no life insurance in place. We know that life insurance provides peace of mind and is fundamental to good financial planning. However, many consumers find the buying process rather daunting. We need to make it easier if we are going to close the protection gap,” stated Kelli Grass, Senior Vice President at LIBRA Insurance Partners. “Human API helps our partner agencies deliver a streamlined experience. Now more than ever, it’s critical that they can deliver a fast, no-touch and digital option to help consumers secure the protection they need”, she added.

Human API radically simplifies the life insurance purchase process by giving consumers a quick and easy way to share access to their electronic health records (EHR). The move to utilize EHR data has been accelerated by the current COVID-19 crisis. Given the disruption to traditional underwriting requirements such as costly paramedical exams and attending physician statements (APS), the insurance industry is proactively leveraging alternative data sources like EHRs to find new ways to respond.

Human API is already trusted by industry leaders including Principal, Guardian, John Hancock, AAA, and their applicants that claim ownership and shared their health records through the platform.

The COVID-19’s “new normal” is a perfect chance to fully embrace the potential of electronic health data for life and disability insurance. But it doesn’t stop in insurance: Clinical research processes, health plans, digital health start-ups, are only few examples of segments that already leverage Human API’s solution for health data liquidity. With Human API as the enabler of modern data rails, the healthcare ecosystem is able to fulfill these expectations. Human API is acting relentlessly to democratize health data access across multiple sectors and they’re only just getting started!