RGA Industry Insights

Medical Expertise Driving Innovation in Asia and Around the World

“These innovations make a difference in people’s lives, serving cohorts traditionally ineligible for insurance coverage and supporting them when they need it most.”
By Heather Lund, M.D.
Regional Chief Medical Officer, RGA Asia

As fast as the insurance industry is evolving, the medical field is racing ahead even faster. New technologies, new treatments, and new ways of understanding disease and disease risk are transforming our knowledge of human health. As a result, the role of medical directors at life and health insurers and reinsurers is rapidly evolving to keep pace.

In addition to providing specialized underwriting and claims insights for challenging cases, RGA’s medical directors have become integral to the entire insurance process. We now collaborate with underwriters, actuaries, and experts from other disciplines to provide our medical perspective in developing innovative new solutions. One day could bring a work session to explore possible use cases for a new data source, while the next might include a meeting to brainstorm ways to incorporate medical advancements into meaningful and forward-looking products to benefit consumers. RGA’s culture of collaboration facilitates this powerful cross-pollination of expertise.

Peter Tan and Heather Lund
From left, from RGA Asia: Peter Tan, Chief Operating Officer; Heather Lund, M.D., Regional Chief Medical Officer.

In Asia, the pace of change is particularly swift. Asia’s regional diversity – featuring both established and emerging markets with a range of disease burdens – coupled with changing demographics creates an environment ripe for innovation. Product development, especially for critical illness solutions, is a major business driver in the region, and RGA applies a multi-disciplinary approach that incorporates medical science into the process. This has resulted in a long line of market-first products and recognition of RGA Asia as a product development leader.

This leadership was in full display in 2019. Dozens of product launches included an award-winning hospital cash product for cancer survivors in Taiwan, a triple-protection product for children with developmental disorders in Hong Kong, and a joint life-critical illness plan to safeguard multiple generations in the Philippines. Ultimately, these innovations make a difference in people’s lives, serving those traditionally ineligible for insurance coverage and supporting them when they need it most. As a medical doctor, I am inspired every day to contribute to this life-changing work.