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National Insurance Awareness Day 2024: How Telemedicine, Wearables In Health Plans Could Boost Senior Healthcare

Most insurance policies today cover telemedicine services for the elderly. Could wearables be included in such plans? Know what the expert says

June 28, 2024
June 28, 2024


The National Insurance Awareness Day is observed on June 28 every year to increase people’s awareness of the importance of insurance and reflect on the existing gaps and the changes required to foster innovation and deepen insurance penetration in all sections of society. As such, one of the areas that could potentially lead to big breakthroughs and a lot of benefits is the emerging digital health ecosystem in India. With the integration of digital health tools, specifically telemedicine and, to an extent, wearable devices, healthcare has become quite robust in addressing the unique health issues and needs of the elderly.

For senior citizens facing mobility issues and chronic health problems, these technologies offer significant benefits. However, perhaps one of the things lacking today is adequate awareness regarding telemedicine services in health insurance plans for the elderly.


Read More: When Home Downsizing Is A Good Idea For Senior Citizens?

Telemedicine services in insurance plans

Most insurance policies today cover telemedicine services for the elderly. “This trend has become more popular due to the Covid-19 pandemic showing the importance of remote medical care facilities,” says Pankaj Nawani, CEO of CarePal Secure, a health technology platform.


Telemedicine services enable senior citizens to consult healthcare professionals from their homes, thereby minimising travel and exposure to potential health hazards. “Coverage extent may differ among insurers; thus, an elderly person must review his or her specific policy to know what telemedicine services are provided,” Nawani suggests.

How can seniors effectively use telemedicine services?

Various steps can be taken to bridge the technology literacy gap among senior citizens and enable them to use telemedicine services effectively. Nawani lists the following ways in which service providers could ensure this:

a) Support Networks: Establish technical support lines or help desks where elders can seek assistance if they encounter any challenges when using such systems.

b) Family Involvement: Calling upon relatives or caregivers to help senior citizens navigate through various telemedicine services.

c) Community Outreach: Collaborating with community centres and organisations to provide senior citizens with necessary materials and training, among other things.

d) User-Friendly Interfaces: Designing telemedicine platforms that are easy to use, simple and intuitive, and tailored for elderly people.

e) Educational Programmes: Conducting workshops and training sessions purposely designed for seniors to learn how to operate telemedicine platforms.

Could wearables be included in insurance plans?

“It’s possible that wearables could be included in health insurance policies for senior citizens down the line,” Nawani remarks.

However, they are not yet widely or entirely included in insurance plans. Wearable devices play a crucial role in preventive care. They monitor vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, and glucose levels, alerting users and their healthcare providers to any anomalies. This continuous monitoring helps in the early detection of potential health issues, enabling prompt medical intervention and reducing hospital admissions.

Read More: Co-Payment Vs Deductible In Health Insurance: How Do They Differ And What’s Best For You? 

If wearables were included in the health insurance plans of the elderly, here’s how it can help:

a) Keeping an Eye on Health: Insurance companies might offer discounts or rewards to seniors who use wearables to monitor their health. It’s a way to encourage them to take charge of their well-being.

b) Bringing Data Together: Insurers could integrate the data from wearables into their health management systems. That way, they can track health trends and dish out personalised health tips.

c) Weighing the Costs and Benefits: Of course, insurers would have to crunch some numbers to make sure it’s worth it. They’d need to see if the cost of providing wearables is balanced out by the potential savings on healthcare expenses, thanks to better health monitoring and early intervention.

“Wearable devices have the potential to make a real difference when it comes to preventive care and catching health problems early among seniors,” Nawani states.

When asked about future innovations in digital health for senior citizens, Nawani shares a range of exciting possibilities, such as:

Advanced Remote Monitoring: Picture this — more advanced remote monitoring tools that can keep tabs on a wider range of health metrics in real-time.

AI-Powered Health Assessments: One could hope for the growth of artificial intelligence in a way that can analyse all your health data and predict potential health issues. It can even suggest preventive measures and talk about high-tech, says Nawani.

Virtual Reality Therapy: Who says virtual reality is just for gaming? VR-based therapies are making waves in the healthcare world. They can help with physical and mental health issues like pain management and cognitive rehabilitation.

Personalised Medicine: We’re all unique, right? Well, digital platforms are stepping up to the plate by providing personalised health recommendations. They take into account your genetic and lifestyle data to give you tailored advice. It’s like having your own personal health guru!

Read More: Health Insurance For Retirement: 5 Reasons Why You Should Not Ignore It

Insurance Awareness for Senior Citizens

When it comes to awareness of your insurance plan, especially its digital health aspects, senior citizens should inquire about what digital health services are covered or will be included in their plan.

“This includes things like telemedicine, wearables, and remote monitoring. Make sure you understand what’s included so you can take full advantage of these services,” Nawani suggests.

Next, be aware of any extra costs that might come with digital health services. “This could include co-pays or fees for equipment. Knowing these out-of-pocket expenses can help you plan your budget accordingly,” he states.

Lastly, privacy and security are crucial considerations regarding health insurance plans. “You want to make sure that your health data is protected and that the insurance provider follows all the necessary privacy regulations. It’s your personal information, so it’s important to keep it safe,” Nawani concludes.

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