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Focus on health and longevity society through medical data analysis


With the advent of the era of 100-year lifespans, the period considered to be “old age” has been extended, and there is a growing need in society as a whole to spend the second half of life in good health. In order to maintain good health, it is important to take preventative measures before health is compromised, and the government aims to create a society that responds to these issues by making full use of ICT technological innovation and medical data.

On the other hand, in the current corona crisis, consumers have reaffirmed the value of security, and the need for insurance is increasing. There are concerns about the worsening of lifestyle-related diseases in the future.

In light of these major social and economic changes that are currently underway, we can see a future vision of private insurance companies providing flexible products and coverage in their traditional insurance business, and going beyond their traditional business to meet the healthcare needs of consumers. increase.

In this article, I will explain the current status and changes in health and longevity issues, and discuss the future vision of insurance beyond the utilization of medical data, mainly regarding the prevention of lifestyle-related diseases. Please note that the views expressed in this article are those of the author and not the official views of PricewaterhouseCoopers Arata LLC or his department.

1 Focus on social change and health issues

As a developed country in terms of economic and social issues, Japan continues to face various challenges. In the medical and insurance fields in particular, the aging of the population and longevity, along with the accompanying increase in medical and nursing care costs, is a matter of national concern in an age where longevity is the norm in an age of 100-year lifespans. has become

Healthy life expectancy, which is used as an indicator of healthy longevity, is defined as “the period during which a person can live without being restricted by health problems.” Chart 1 shows the transition.

Since the World Health Organization (WHO) proposed the concept of healthy life expectancy in 2000, men have been unhealthy at the end of their lives for about 8 years and women for about 12 years. This is pointed out as one of the causes of the increase in medical expenses for the elderly. In order to curb medical expenses, it is essential to take steps to prevent people from becoming unhealthy and, even if they do, to prevent them from becoming severe.

Next, let’s look at the number of deaths by cause of death ( Chart 2 ). As you can see from this figure, cancer (malignant neoplasm) is the leading cause of death. It is generally known that the incidence of cancer increases with age. Other than cancer, lifestyle-related diseases such as heart disease and cerebrovascular disease rank high.

It is known that cancer risk factors differ depending on the site of cancer, but in any case early detection is said to be the key to successful treatment, and the development of medical technology for early detection is progressing. I’m here.

On the other hand, lifestyle-related diseases are caused by hypertension and lipid abnormalities. It is seen as a problem that subjective symptoms do not appear until the disease has worsened and the disease is diagnosed, and there is no opportunity to improve one’s own deteriorating health condition. It is also characterized by its irreversibility, which makes it difficult to return to its original healthy state once the deterioration takes hold. Due to these characteristics, it is becoming more and more important to have people who are indifferent to health take an interest from the pre-symptomatic stage and prevent the disease from progressing.

From 2020 last year to the present, demographics and the external environment have changed due to changes in people’s behavioral patterns due to the effects of the new coronavirus infection. According to the latest statistics *1 at the time of writing this article (December 2020) , the total number of deaths from January to October 2020 decreased by 14,315 (-1.2%), and the number of births decreased by 17,234 (-2.3%). The impact on demographics is significant, and is very different from the trend of previous years.

Compared to overseas, there are fewer deaths in Japan and the excess mortality rate due to the new coronavirus is considered to be relatively low. is higher than in other countries. In addition, the health condition of the general public due to refraining from going out to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus could potentially lead to aggravation of the condition of lifestyle-related diseases.

Health issues are national issues, and public insurers such as the National Health Insurance (NHI) and Health Insurance (Health Insurance) associations, which are responsible for the function of public medical insurance, and the supplementary function of public insurance It is also a matter of great concern for private insurers. As mentioned above, health issues and demographics are currently undergoing major structural changes during the COVID-19 crisis. It is important to refine the current situation through medical data analysis, such as how public insurers should implement further health maintenance, and how private insurance companies should manage insurance underwriting risks.

2 Medical Data Analysis—Existing Medical Big Data

In order to solve the above-mentioned issues faced by public and private insurance companies, it is necessary to analyze medical data from multiple perspectives. Figure 3 summarizes the characteristics of each type of existing data from the perspective of data bias, traceability, and private use, which are important in the analysis.

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