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Discovery and AIA to establish a pan-Asian health insurtech business

Discovery Limited ("Discovery") and AIA Group ("AIA") has announced the establishment of a pan-Asian health insurtech business that will be named Amplify Health.
Source: Supplied.
Source: Supplied.

The new entity is expected to launch in April 2022 with the aim of becoming Asia’s leading digital health technology and integrated solutions business.

The partnership will operate as a joint venture in Asia, excluding China, Hong Kong and Macau, where Discovery has an exclusive partnership with the Ping An Group through its shareholding in Ping An Health Insurance.

It will provide a range of state-of-the-art health technology, intellectual property and expertise to AIA’s rapidly growing health-insurance businesses and will also build and deliver health and wellness insurtech products and services to third parties across the region.

AIA is the leading pan-Asian private medical insurer and provides life, health and wellness solutions to the holders of more than 39 million individual policies and over 16 million members of group insurance schemes.

Amplify Health is central to AIA Group’s strategy to grow its health business. The joint venture (JV) has been established with the vision of transforming how individuals, corporates, payors, and providers experience and manage health insurance and healthcare delivery, improving the health and wellness outcomes of patients and communities across Asia.

Joint venture built on strong foundation

The creation of Amplify Health builds on the near 10-year working relationship between Discovery and AIA Group, which to date has focused on the integration of AIA’s life insurance products with AIA Vitality across AIA’s businesses in Asia. The success of the existing partnership between Discovery and AIA, which is reflected in the growth of AIA Vitality since its launch in 2013, now present in 10 markets across Asia, will enhance the JV.

The partnership is based on Discovery’s shared-value insurance model and will continue alongside Amplify Health – it forms a powerful platform for the new company and the integration of health and wellness capabilities.

The JV aligns with the emerging market scale in Asia and will be well positioned to respond to the market trends impacting the health and wellness service industries in Asia, namely ageing populations, increased digital adoption and healthcare supply constraints.

AIA's market growing at alarming rate

Total healthcare expenditure across AIA’s markets is expected to exceed US$4tn in 2030. By this time, there will be 2.6 billion people in the middle classes in Asia, who will be significantly more engaged with improving their personal health than previous generations. Consumers will continue to focus on wellness and disease prevention, leveraging technologies such as wearables, activity and fitness trackers, growing the market in Asia by more than double compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Digital healthcare adoption has accelerated because of the pandemic, with 96% of insurers in Asia-Pacific indicating that their members now use telehealth to access primary physician/general practitioner (GP) services. Adding to this, the population in parts of Asia is ageing, with close to 850 million people in the region predicted to be over the age of 60 by 2030.

This unparalleled combination of shifting demographics, rising consumer expectations, accelerated digital adoption, new advancements in HealthTech and significant unmet service demand underpin the strategic importance of Amplify Health.

The JV brings together the best of both partners by combining Discovery’s unique and proven global healthcare technology, IP and health expertise with AIA’s brand, unrivalled distribution platform and decades of well-established execution capabilities across Asia.

A wealth of health-management capabilities

“Over the past three decades, Discovery has built unique and powerful health insurance, wellness and health management capabilities, made up of considerable IP, technology, data analytics and subject matter experts. The relevance of these assets and our deployment track record are demonstrated by the successful application of our capabilities in other markets.

All these learnings have manifested in an end-to-end Shared Value healthcare stack that will be shifted into Amplify to ensure that together with AIA we will build a significant business across the region and make a positive societal impact. Discovery and AIA have an exceptionally successful long-term relationship through AIA Vitality, and our organisations have completely aligned core purposes - this creates a powerful platform for Amplify Health,” says Adrian Gore, Discovery chief executive.

Amplify Health will be led by Dr Jonathan Broomberg, the former chief executive officer of Discovery Health, and current chief executive officer of Vitality Health International (VHI). VHI is a subsidiary of Discovery established in 2019 to coordinate and intensify the focus and resource allocation of Discovery’s emerging global health insurance initiatives.

Transforming delivery of healthcare in Asia

Commenting on the establishment of Amplify Health in partnership with Discovery, Lee Yuan Siong, AIA group chief executive and president, says: “For more than a century AIA has been at the forefront of protecting our customers when they need us the most. As we look to the future, we see an urgent need for better, simpler and more affordable healthcare, and an expanding protection gap for the growing population in the region.

"These factors, combined with the fundamental drivers of growth in Asia, present an extraordinary opportunity. Amplify Health is the natural next step in our journey from payor to partner, enabling us to play a leading role in shaping the transformation of the development and delivery of healthcare in Asia. Discovery is a partner who is equally passionate about creating value for all stakeholders. I am certain that through Amplify Health we will go on to help millions more Asian families live healthier, longer, better lives.”

Amplify Health will be focused on servicing AIA businesses to drive improved operational and claims performance and will also serve and partner with other key healthcare system participants creating value for stakeholders across the healthcare value chain.

Subject to approval by the South African Reserve Bank, Discovery Group will own 25% of the JV’s equity, with 75% owned by AIA.


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