The “Health and Wellness” consumer category is going through lots of changes. According to a recent Forbes report from The Hartman Group, consumers are more aware of the connection between health, wellness, food, energy, than ever before. For example, “More so than any other generation, Gen Z looks to exercise as a way to treat or prevent illness, and it is particularly relevant for emotional and stress-related issues”.
At the same time, the rise of wearable tech, like FitBit and Apple Watch, gives users the ability to collect and monitor their own data. Whether people were competing over how many steps they could take a day, or how many hours they slept, users had an unprecedented level of ease in tracking their every move.
John Hancock, an insurance provider, created a program called “Vitality” to capture value from this change in behavior. Modeled on successful programs from other countries, Like other John Hancock realized that they could benefit from the positive and proactive attitude towards preventative health (exercise, diet) and rising levels of comfort with wearable technology that collects data. They created the program “Vitality”, which is novel in that it can monitor the data of consumer’s health habits and reward consumers for good behavior. Participants in the Vitality program are provided with a free Fitbit to track their movements. A consumer can win “vitality points” by making healthy decisions about exercise, which the healthcare provider can then see through the Fitbit data. This can translate into real savings:
“The higher your Vitality Status the more you can save on your life insurance premiums – up to 10% a year. You can also earn up to $600 in annual savings on your healthy food purchases, as well Apple Watch® Series 2 for just $25, simply by exercising regularly.”
Instead of a static relationship between healthcare provider and provide, and offline data collection that relies on truthful information, consumers are incentivized to make better decisions about their healthcare and able to improve their deductibles and/or premiums through their healthy choices.
John Hancock Incentivizing the consumers to make healthier choices benefits the insurance company in several ways. First, it is widely accepted that prevention is better than the cure. The companies are saving themselves money down the road by creating a generation of healthier customers who are motivated to keep themselves healthy. Second, insurance companies can better manage their claims and forecasts with more accurate data and dynamic pricing – they can better service their customers with a better snapshot. Third, insurance companies can start communicating much more data with doctors and physicians, which will not only cut down on administration costs but help both doctor and patient make more informed and accurate choices as opposed to sometimes misleading self-reporting. 
John Hancock is giving consumers the option to “giv[e] out private data for discount in insurance”. For consumers ready to share their data and stay healthy to spend less, John Hancock captures a great market