Assured Allies seeks to shift our aging trajectory by offering insurance products designed to improve wellness and promote successful aging.
With more than $18 million in the bank following its hefty Series A funding round, insurtech company Assured Allies is on a mission to change the trajectory of aging. The Boston-based firm, which says it is already working with three of America’s leading long-term care insurance carriers, followed up the funding news by announcing a raft of senior appointments as it seeks to scale up adoption of its “evidence-based, successful aging platform.”
Longevity.Technology: There is without doubt a growing focus on how the insurance industry needs to adapt in order to adjust to our increasingly long-lived population, and Assured Allies is an exciting new player in this area. We caught up with co-founder Dr Afik Gal, and customer experience VP Andy Freedman to find out more.
Founded in 2018 by Gal and tech entrepreneur Roee Nahir, Assured Allies has developed a technology platform that it claims can predict and shift the aging trajectory, thereby helping reduce the risk of age-related decline. As a medical doctor, Gal had long harboured an interest in building a company that would have a positive impact on society – a vision shared by his co-founder.
“With both of us having aging family members in our lives and becoming more and more involved in their care, we eventually zeroed down on longevity and healthy aging – successful aging,” he says. “In the US alone, there are going to be about 70 million people over 65 by 2030, but, for example, nobody’s really lending a hand to family caregivers in in an organized, scalable way, with good business sense.”
Financial support around aging is broken
The more that Gal and Nahir delved into the challenges associated with aging, the deeper their understanding of the scale of the problem became.
“One of the key things we noticed is that the financial support around aging is completely broken – on the insurance side, on the saving side, and a lot of other things in this equation,” says Gal. “This felt to us like a better opportunity to help than being just another company that operates in healthcare, so we built a company to really try to address this holistically in a multidisciplinary way.”
At the heart of Assured Allies’ business is the company’s patent-pending technology for predicting the aging trajectory and its proprietary aging score, but also the ability to recommend interventions to help people improve their wellness and change their trajectory. Freedman refers back to the example of family caregiving to illustrate how the company’s technology can help.
“There are lots of programmes and services out there that support family caregivers, but no one’s combining data science and evidence-based interventions to recommend solutions,” he says. “We’re using both data as it relates predictive analytics, and data as it relates to ensuring that any intervention or support we offer has the appropriate rigour behind it.”
The company’s focus on an evidence-based approach is demonstrated by its team of PhDs, including experts in data science and mathematics, to actuaries and neuroscientists.
“They evaluate everything that we consider doing, and try to figure out if there is evidence that this will actually save somebody some money, or if it will actually help somebody live healthier, happier, and more independent in their homes, which is going to be a driver of savings,” says Gal.
Prevent, treat, adapt
The kinds of solutions that Assured Allies evaluates for their potential to benefit aging policyholders includes a wide range of AgeTech products like smart speakers, wearables and fall prevention systems, as well as non-technological interventions, such as structured counselling sessions for caregivers.
Of course, aging is not a one-size-fits-all condition, so how does Assured Allies account for the different trajectories of aging? This is where the company’s core analytics technology comes into play, enabling the generation of an aging score based on several factors (social, clinical and so on) that is then used to determine what actions need to be taken. These personalised actions are typically based on either a “prevent, treat, or adapt” model.
“If people are in good shape, we aim to keep them that way – including everything from cancer screening, and vaccinations, through to stress, sleep and all of those things,” says Gal. “Then there are those who already have some problems, which can be treated. For example, hearing loss can be addressed using hearing aids, which is good for quality of life, but what’s more important is that you’ve actually reduced the likelihood of dementia further down the road.”
The final category of “adapt” refers to people who have some kind of limitation due to aging that is unlikely to be reversed.
“This is where you consider things like fall prevention because someone already has limitations in walking,” explains Gal. “So we aim to make sure that disability can still be managed in-home, with their family in an independent way, and to improve their trajectory.”
A win-win for policyholders and payers
Assured Allies is focused on building an ecosystem that will bring the relevant product and service providers needed to deliver its vision for successful aging.
“The key thing for us was how do we make this compelling enough for other companies to partner with us and to become clients of ours,” says Gal. “The only way to really move the needle and create a sustainable and scalable solution in this space, is if this becomes something that businesses can earn money doing so.”
Assured Allies aims to create a “win-win” value proposition that ensures aging policyholders get the help they need, but that also provides value for insurance companies, and the partners that ultimately deliver the services. The company then arrived at the idea of integrating all of this into new insurance products.
“So, instead of just buying a standalone, long term care insurance plan, you’re actually buying a product that provides the insurance, but also the support you need while you’re aging,” explains Gal. “We are able to coordinate and orchestrate all of these happening in a way that will be financially sensible for everybody that’s involved, but also valuable, of course, to the policyholders.”