Of the 264 people injured in the Boston Marathon Bombings, at least 13 have suffered the loss of all or part of a limb. Already there have been stories of perseverance and strength – one husband and wife, standing together at the finish line, both lost the lower part of their left legs. They are recovering as well as can be expected, and the experience of these and other amputee survivors has brought the issue of prosthetics and health insurance to the forefront of health care news. Read more
If you visit your doctor today and tell her about your symptoms, chances are she will take notes. On a notepad. Using paper and pencil. Seem a little old fashioned? That’s what lawmakers are thinking, too, and that’s why one act in particular passed along with Obamacare focuses solely on promoting electronic medical technology – it’s called the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or HITECH, for short.
Ever since the Renaissance, Western science has become increasingly sceptical of traditional medicine. It seems, however, that the tide may be turning, as scientific exploration is adding more credibility to the pharmacology behind Eastern medicine, one study at a time.
A recent report published in the Archives of Internal Medicine this week gives a detailed analysis of 29 studies carried out involving almost 18,000 patients in the USA and Europe on the effect of acupuncture on chronic pain. The trials compared acupuncture with patients who had no treatment, and those who had a pseudo treatment, through incorrect use of acupuncture by inserting needles in incorrect positions and depths.
The results showed that patients who had acupuncture reported at least a 50% decrease in their pain, compared to 43% for the faked treatment and 30% for no treatment. However, given the marginal increase in reported positive outcome of real acupuncture over sham acupuncture and other concerns over methodology, some doctors remain unconvinced.
The precise physical mechanism by which acupuncture works has not yet been established, with a majority of Western scientists and medical practitioners still attributing its effectiveness to the stimulation of nerves, muscles and connective tissue to boost blood flow and encourage release of the body’s natural painkillers.
Eastern philosophy, on the other hand, not hampered by the limitations of naturalistic thinking, explains acupuncture in terms of restoring balance to the energy flow in the human body, with needles inserted in specific areas on the body to alter or ‘tune’ the flow.
It seems that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is undergoing a kind of renaissance of its own. Not only is it making great strides in acceptability in the West, but it has been receiving a lot of new found appreciation and attention in China, where TCM has been the de facto source of primary healthcare for more than a millennium.
TCM has received less promotion in China during the last 50 years, with the State’s focus on providing Western style medical services mostly through large public hospitals, leaving very little support and funding for any other forms of medical care. A mix of tradition, affordability and availability have enabled TCM to survive and even flourish, especially in rural areas, where public healthcare has been hard to come by.
That is all about to change. Just this week, the Chinese vice minister of health, Wang Guoqiang, announced a national campaign to promote TCM services at grassroots levels. According to figures provided by the ministry, almost 76% of community health centres provide some form of TCM, although there are concerns about the service quality as there is no official grading systems for TCM practitioners.
The campaign will aim to enable 95% of community health centres, and 90% of those at village or town level, to offer TCM services by 2015. This will require training of at least 15,000 TCM clinicians for hospitals at the town/county level, and 30,000 general TCM practitioners at the community level.
The campaign follows a national crackdown on the use of substandard or fake materials in TCM, which focused on improving awareness of and testing for heavy metal ions, pesticides and aflatoxins.
In Beijing, education authorities are publishing new textbooks on TCM, and will be distributing them to secondary schools before the end of the year.
There is no obligation on Beijing schools to teach TCM as a subject, but for those teachers who would like to be qualified to teach TCM, the the city administration for traditional Chinese medicine is offering courses to prepare teachers to deliver the subject. On top of completing this course, teachers will also be required to have experience teaching Chinese History, language, and biology.
“China’s education system is rather Westernized,” said Mao Jialing, director of the Cultural Research and Propagation Center of Traditional Chinese Medicine at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. Western thinking tends to break everything down into small parts and deal with each part one at a time. This means that in school, students learn mathematics, physics and chemistry as completely separate subjects. This mindset affects Western medicine also, meaning there is an inordinate focus on individuals problems, often to the detriment of the health of the rest of the body.
“The logic inherent in traditional Chinese medicine and traditional Chinese culture is quite different,” he said. “We do not pay an inordinate amount of attention to a particular body part that is diseased, but instead place emphasis on the general state of a person’s health.”
“There are circumstances that Western medicine cannot deal with,” he said. “For example, chemotherapy will destroy the immune systems of some cancer patients and kill them faster than their tumors.”
According to Ju Baozhao, a professor of traditional Chinese medicine studies at Liaoning University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the ancient methods still provide good ways to cure chronic disorders. He said people who use TCM to treat some chronic disorders will find that it is both effective and saves them a lot of money. Even though TCM is generally quite low cost, the industry in China is currently valued at USD 50 billion, and estimates are that it will triple in value by 2015.
The TCM renaissance is not limited to China. A lot of effort is being made to raise understanding and lower suspicions of TCM internationally.
Last month, a database providing a link between TCM herbs and their active chemical ingredients, along with translation into Western terminology was unveiled. The Chem-TCM database is the most comprehensive of its kind, linking and translating more than 12,000 chemicals found in more than 300 Chinese herbs.
TCM remedies have rarely been used as a basis for developing new medicines because their complexity have made registering with Western regulatory agencies difficult. The information provided by the TCM-Chem database is sure to make this process easier, and should significantly boost the credibility and acceptance of TCM-based remedies in the West.
While this database will go a long way towards removing TCM from the realm of fantasy in the minds of traditional Western health professionals, the holistic nature of TCM should not be forgotten, as merely turning traditional cures into modern drugs will remove the expertise of the TCM practitioner, which, in the traditional mindset, is crucial to the whole process of providing effective treatment.
In the Netherlands, a TCM medicine has been approved for sale in an EU country for the first time ever. Di’ao Xin Xue Kang, a well-known herbal medicine produced by the Chengdu-based Di’ao Group, received marketing authorization from the Medicines Evaluation Board of the Netherlands, making it the first herbal medicine approved as a therapeutic drug from anywhere outside the EU.
“This is an important step for TCM to enter mainstream markets of developed countries,” Chinese Health Minister, Chen Zhu, said at a news conference organized by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing on Wednesday.
Traditional Chinese medicines were banned by the EU in May 2011, to prevent unlicensed herbal medicines to be sold as food supplements. The successful registration of Xin Xue Kang follows two years of research to identify the active ingredients in the medicine. Xin Xue Kang contains only a single TCM herb, and this was why it was chosen to be the first to be registered. Most other traditional medicines contain a complex mix of herbs, which makes identification of all the active ingredients very difficult. Ongoing research into the active ingredients of TCM remedies, as well as availability of new resources like the TCM-Chem database, will hopefully speed up this process for future registrations of more complex medicines.
It is hoped that the heightened interest in TCM, and the increasing research into active ingredients, will yield a host of new medicines; marrying millennia of traditional experience with modern manufacturing and testing methods.
Chinese pharmaceutical companies are also pushing beyond the traditional boundaries and are working hard to gain a foothold in the Western mainstream. One such company, Tianjin based Tasly Group Co. Ltd, has partnered with local governments and universities to promote TCM in places like Europe, North America and South Africa. It recently opened a TCM exhibition facility in South Africa to help local people gain an understanding of TCM, its philosophy and its history, and is currently completing another such facility in Maryland in the USA.
Tasly also purchased a research and manufacturing facility in Maryland, where it intends to produce its flagship Tasly Danshen Plus Capsule, a drug that protects the heart and helps it function, with ingredients such as Notoginseng and other traditional Chinese herbs. The drug is currently in the process of obtaining FDA certification.
Traditional Chinese medicine has been around for longer than just about any other form of medicine, and touches on elements of the human being that Western science has a hard time even accepting the existence of. Energy fields, Qi, internal ‘fire’ and all the associated treatments are often hard for scientists to take seriously, however, studies are adding more and more credibility to the pharmacological basis of TCM.
A marriage between Eastern and Western mindsets, allowing for the respective strengths to complement each other, is an exciting prospect. Western study and detailed analysis of TCM will hopefully weed out those treatments that not only rip off the customer, but do significant harm to the environment. Rhino horn and tiger products are pertinent examples of this. At the very least, one hopes that alternatives to these products will be developed, and in the process save many other species from extinction.
As TCM gains momentum it will be interesting to see if it begins to make inroads into Western treatment regimens, whether through the pharmacology of the ingredients used, or in the worldview itself. With the Chinese government also stepping up its efforts to monitor TCM ingredients and incorporate it into the national healthcare infrastructure, it will be worth watching whether TCM can become a cost-effective way to provide healthcare, especially since it is already deeply ingrained in Chinese rural life.
June saw an E. coli outbreak in Europe and a fresh round of bird flu cases in Egypt, as well as the release of insightful research on both medical error and dengue fever. A key theme across health issues remains weighing the long-term benefits of preventative care (or systemic reform) against up-front costs. That the United States showed the highest error rate among seven developed nations does nothing to enhance the rep of its notoriously cost-inefficient health system – worth bearing in mind as the debate over health reform heats up once more.
Here are some of the top international health stories of the past 30 days:
E. coli ravages Europe
The top story in June was undoubtedly a deadly E. coli outbreak in Germany. Cases were initially reported in May but escalated sharply in June – as of June 28 around 4,000 people had been sickened and total fatalities stood near 50. German authorities identified bean and seed sprouts as the vehicle for the outbreak. While the number of new cases reported in Germany continues to decline (the total is still rising as a result of delayed reporting), late June brought the emergence of 8 cases in France. These too were linked to consumption of raw sprouts. French and German authorities are in the process of determining whether the bacteria had a common source.
For the latest on this story, click here.
USA and Australia show highest medical error rates
Patients who received poorly coordinated medical care or were unable to afford basic medical costs were much more likely to report errors in their medication or treatment, according to a study published in the International Journal of Medical Practice. Researchers from the USA and Australia used data from the Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey to identify the key risk factors behind the errors reported by patients from Canada, USA, the Netherlands, UK, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. 11% of the 11,910 people surveyed said they had suffered a medication or medical error in the last two years. Patients in the USA and Australia reported the highest rates of medical/medication error: 13%. Germany and the UK reported the lowest at 9%.
For more on this story, click here.
WHO finds dengue fever costly as it is deadly
The World Health Organization (WHO) released its latest Dengue Bulletin (PDF Link), a special issue devoted to 10 studies on the cost of dengue fever and various prevention strategies. In an age where many diseases are on the decline dengue continues to pose a serious health threat all over the world. In Brazil, for example, the number of cases increased 6.2% and deaths 12% from 1999-2009. Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne virus common in tropical climates, including popular expat destinations such as India, Thailand and Malaysia. Studies estimate the annual cost of treating it to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars in the latter two countries. For India the figure is in the billions.
For more on this story, click here.
5 new cases of avian influenza in Egypt
WHO reported 5 new cases of avian influenza (or “bird flu”) in Egypt, 3 of which were fatal. The cases were scattered across the country, and are believed to have resulted from exposure to infected poultry. They were confirmed by the Egyptian Central Public Health Laboratory. To date the country has seen 149 cases and 51 deaths from the disease. While avian influenza poses little threat to tourists visiting Egypt on holiday, a spike in cases would do nothing for the country’s image. Revenues from tourism were down 46% in the first quarter of 2011 in the wake of the recent revolution.
For more on this story, click here.
Be sure to check back on this space for more updates in July.
ExpatHealth.org offers a one-stop source for international best practices in expatriate health care, expat trends and regulatory changes impacting the health industry. The site covers both global and regional health issues. http://expathealth.org
For many years it has been common knowledge that smoking is an extremely harmful habit, with smokers presenting an increased risk for a host of medical conditions including Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, and infertility, to name but a few. However, a recent study published in Science has highlighted a potential positive effect in Nicotine, a key chemical contained in tobacco products.
It has long been known that smoking suppresses appetite, and that individuals who quit smoking are prone to significant weight gain. The research presented in Science has shown exactly why smoking, and consequently nicotine, is able to control hunger urges. This has lead the researchers involved in the study to become hopeful about some potential future uses of the Nicotine compound, and are also hoping to use the study in order to help individuals attempting to quit tobacco products control their weight after they have ceased smoking.
So how does this process of weight control actually work?
The easy version is that the human brain has a large number of nicotine receptors, spread throughout the tissue. While not all nicotine receptors have an impact on hunger researchers found that the ?3?4 nicotinic receptor, located in the hypothalamus, suppresses an individual’s appetite when activated by nicotine.
The news of nicotine’s ability to influence weight gain follows a study published in Science Daily during May 2010 which found that smokers have a decreased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, a serious degenerative condition of the central nervous system. In this study researchers found that active smokers, who had smoked for more than 40 years, were up to 46 percent less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than people who had never smoked. Individuals who had smoked for between 30 – 39 years were 35 percent less likely to develop the condition than their non smoking counterparts, while persons who had smoked between 1 and 9 years had reduced their risk of developing Parkinson’s by 8 percent.
However, researches noted that the decreased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease was due to the length of time that an individual had smoked, and that the risk did not change based on the number of cigarettes that were smoked in a single day. The study also noted that in the event that an individual had already developed Parkinson’s symptoms smoking would not retard the progression of the disease, and that treating Parkinson’s with nicotine was not a viable option.
Chemicals in the Tobacco plant are coming under more scrutiny as global health initiatives to encourage people to give up smoking become more prevalent. However, with the news that there are some potentially beneficial effects of this incredibly harmful activity it can be expected that scientists will continue to build on their knowledge of this substance.
One projected line of inquiry into the new knowledge of the nicotine compound is as a weight loss aid for individuals suffering from chronic obesity. Obesity is a rapidly growing issue in many developed nations, especially the USA, and a non-invasive method of controlling appetite outside of drastic stomach surgery or a complete overhaul in lifestyle choices could be a welcome sight for many individuals around the world.
However, there are some key concerns with using nicotine as a form of medical treatment, not in the least is that the substance is highly addictive and that most forms of tobacco use carry the previously mentioned, severe health risks. Using a pure form nicotine pill of some type, nicotine gum, or even the patch could be possible treatment methods but researchers have yet to come to a full understanding of how these options will impact conditions like obesity.
Additionally this could cause a range of issues with regards to medical insurance and life insurance coverage. Smokers and tobacco users will typically receive higher premiums than non-smokers when obtaining health insurance in many parts of the world. In fact, many life insurance policies will check for the presence of Cotinine, a byproduct of nicotine found in the blood of smokers, and impose higher premiums on those who test positive for the molecule. If scientists and doctors find a way to use nicotine as a legitimate treatment option for conditions such as obesity and Parkinson’s disease then a simple test to check for the presence of Cotinine may not be sufficient to calculate the risk presented by a specific individual. However, any development in this direction will be at least a few years off, giving insurers around the world time to prepare for new forms of treatment.
Manulife Financial Corp, Canada’s largest insurance company, plans to increase sales of its insurance policies for low-income customers in Vietnam by expanding its microinsurance operations into more regions of the Southeast Asian country.
Microinsurance products provide basic, inexpensive insurance coverage to individuals on low incomes who require protection for typical risks including the affects of severe weather conditions, healthcare, crop, life and non-life products. Microinsurance offers vital security options for individuals who need insurance protection but until now have been unable, or even aware of, the ability to afford the relatively high cost of coverage. For insurers, microinsurance presents an opportunity, with a high volume of potential policyholders coupled with low cost margins. The global microinsurance market is estimated to be worth over US$40 billion
In 2009, Manulife partnered with Vietnam’s Women Union to introduce simple microinsurance life products, covering accidental death and hospitalization costs, to nine Vietnamese provinces. The policies cost clients roughly US$15 a year for coverage with monthly premiums payable via SMS or text message for those in more remote parts of the country. To date Manulife has already sold about 80,000 microinsurance policies in Vietnam, far exceeding the company’s expectations. Microinsurance alone made up 6 percent of Manulife’s total sales in Vietnam last year.
Manulife Vietnam Chief Executive Officer Carl Gustini said in an interview that the company was taken aback by its success among low-income earners in Vietnam: “The microinsurance sales actually made a significant contribution to our top line, which was a surprise because we didn’t go into this for top-line at all, we went into it not expecting to make any significant money on this. We really just expected to break even and spread the word.”
Manulife now expects to sell at least another 50,000 micro-insurance policies this year if they are granted regulatory approval by the Vietnamese authorities to operate in an additional 12 provinces. The company is also considering new products, such as policies that cover a whole family. And, in addition to SMS messages, Manulife is looking at providing customers with a mechanism to pay their microinsurance premiums over the Internet.
According to Manulife’s research, microinsurance products could be an attractive proposition to about 70 percent of the Vietnam population who currently can not afford a standard US$400-a-year life insurance policy in the country. The Toronto-based insurer plans to build on its initial customer base and attract even more clients who could become more affluent as Vietnam’s economy steadily improves.
Mr. Gustini, who has been head of Manulife’s operations in Vietnam since January 2010, insisted that getting into this emerging market early has been critical, and that improving awareness about insurance services is an ongoing project for the company. “The underlying principle is to form a lifelong relationship with these people, there’s also the word of mouth and indirect impact to our brand out in the provinces.” Mr. Gustini commented further that for many Vietnamese “the very concept of insurance, the concept of paying a premium and providing a savings benefit, is actually foreign.”
Enabling low-income policyholders to pay their premiums with their cell phones has proven to be a very effective innovation for Manulife, one which it may roll out for its more profitable standard customers later. Roughly one-quarter of the company’s microinsurance customers in Vietnam are making their payments by text message. Mr. Gustini predicted that this number would grow. “The cellphone penetration in the rural areas is very high, upwards of 70 per cent in some provinces,” he said. While most Vietnamese families can’t afford home computers, internet cafes are popular.
Manulife was the first company to offer microinsurance policies in Vietnam but now it finds itself competing with 11 established multinational life insurers including AIA Group Ltd. and Prudential Plc. A further four new players have been granted permission to enter the insurance market later this year and the Vietnamese government has indicated that it will allow more to follow.
According to Mr. Gustini, the government will also soon rule on whether to allow asset-management products, including mutual fund services, to be sold in the country.
Manulife increased their market share in Vietnam to 12.4 percent in 2010, up from 11.4 percent in 2009. In the first quarter of 2011, about 36 percent of Manulife’s US$965-million reported profit came from Asia, with about 1 percent of all Asian earnings coming from Vietnam.
“We would expect over time that as a percentage, that will ramp up,” said Mr. Gustini, adding: “Countries like Vietnam are not short-term profit players for us.”
Manulife wants to build on its success and is currently in discussion with industry regulators from several other Asian countries about selling coverage options to the low income segments of their populations in the near future. This month, Manulife released its first microinsurance product in the Phillipines, titled FirstProtect, which provides life and accident protection for 10 years, with premiums as low as P471(US$10) per month. The Canadian insurer has also intimated that it may look into developing family insurance policies under the same design.
As a number of challenges confront its US business, Manulife recognizes Asia as the most important market for the company’s future growth. This market will clearly be a focus for activity in 2011 in order to improve upon 2010’s overall loss of US$ 395 million, due to poor results in the first half of the year, and develop the company back into a platform of sustained profitability.
Competition within the Asian insurance markets has become more intense than ever, with European and American multinational insurers gaining access to the region through acquisitions, joint-venture partnerships or self-started new businesses. These developments are initiating the development of innovative insurance and investment products in order to achieve greater market penetration.
Insurance Company Mentioned
Manulife (International) Limited is a member of the Manulife Financial group of companies. Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 22 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily through John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners.
Manulife in Vietnam
Manulife Vietnam was the first 100 per cent foreign-owned life insurance company in Vietnam, being its operation in September 1999 as a joint-venture called Chinfon-Manulife Insurance Company (CMIC). Manulife in Vietnam has grown rapidly to become a world class company providing a competitive array of financial protection products and services to Vietnamese customers. Since commencing operations, Manulife has helped more than 300,000 middle to upper-income Vietnamese plan right for their life.
PowerPlace has struck a deal to add the commercial combined product for Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) business from Allianz to their online insurance marketplace. PowerPlace, based in the UK, has built a compelling model to do online distribution of insurance products and provide support to brokers through imarket.
The Allianz Group has made a commitment to invest in the functionality of the underlying technology employed by PowerPlace, which overall is perceived as being a very attractive distribution partner, therefore aligning seamlessly with their SME strategy to participate in the competitive online market and bring support to brokers by facilitating quicker trades of their products.
PowerPlace had been wanting to get Allianz on board for some time, and having them taking part in their digital marketplace strengthens the value of their proposition to brokers, whilst making a step further in the direction of becoming a true one-stop online supplier of commercial insurance products.
Brokers using or planning to use PowerPlace will now have access to a wider range of products at competitive rates, plus the market-leading commercial combined product from Allianz.
Allianz Group is one of the leading global services providers in insurance and asset management. With approximately 153,000 employees worldwide, the Allianz Group serves approximately 75 million customers in about 70 countries. On the insurance side, Allianz is the market leader in the German market and has a strong international presence.
PowerPlace provides e-market commercial products to brokers using a web based trading platform, powered by Open Trader. Brokers can obtain comparative quotations for a wide range of products and insurers, quickly and easily. PowerPlace also saves time and money, and is the most cost effective way to trade for Open GI users*. PowerPlace is fully integrated with the Open GI back office system. Common question sets have been specially agreed with insurers for each product to ensure that the minimum number of questions are required to obtain a range of competitive quotations. The products available through PowerPlace are backed by leading UK insurers, attract higher rates of commission and allow brokers to choose the premium they need.
BUPA International’s Brighton-based call center is to get a new communication management system, supplied, executed and managed by Azzurri Communications.
Azzurri’s information management solution, which is based on Avaya’s Communication Manager platform, will assist the 600 advisers and staff at BUPA International’s call center in effectively communicating with customers around the world 24-hours a day. Given that customers can reach the call center at any time via telephone and email, the information management system allows BUPA to coordinate and keep track of communications between customers and staff
By amalgamating traditional analogue, digital and internet-based exchanges into a seamless communications system, BUPA can provide more flexible, responsive administration leading towards better customer service experiences for their customers around the world. The solution holds the capacity to handle the communications rolling in from the thousands of individual customers BUPA International has around the world, and its ability to synchronize information coming through multiple channels means that correspondence with customers will be focused and coordinated.
The communication management platform will be supported by a data center in Staines, Middlesex, where precautions have been taken to make it as resilient as possible, ensuring a minimum of down time or lost data in unexpected circumstances. With the communication processing and administration concentrated in the data center’s servers, BUPA International will have the ability to roll out the platform’s applications to other call centers worldwide in the future.
Stuart Pennington, a Project Manager at BUPA International says that “We have more than 800,000 customers around the world, all in different time zones, who can contact us at any time by phone and email. Our multi-lingual advisers need a robust, well supported and flexible IP-based communications solution which enables them to provide high levels of customer service round the clock. We also need to be able to deliver multi-channel or integrated contact management, so we can link phone and email conversations to individual customers. Azzurri has the experience and scale to offer the global support we need.”
BUPA International is the expatriate health insurance arm of Brighton-based BUPA, a provident association offering health insurance and other healthcare solutions. After starting in the expatriate health insurance business in 1971, BUPA International now provides international health insurance to more than 800,000 clients in over 190 countries, with customers including some of the world’s biggest companies. Their international health networks offer access to more than 200,000 medical providers around the globe, and direct settlement services with more than 7,500 hospitals and clinics.
Chartis Inc, a globally leading general insurance company specializing in property-casualty products, has announced an innovative partnership with MMR Information Systems to provide electronic health records to health insurance policyholders around the world.
MMR will provide Chartis with access to it’s MyMedicalRecords Technology, enabling policyholders of Chartis’ health insurance products to store, manage, and update their medical records in a smooth and efficient manner. The information will be stored on the website www.mymedicalrecords.com and use sophisticated encryption software to ensure that personal privacy is protected.
In addition to the centralized hosting of electronic medical records, Chartis health insurance policyholders will also be given a separate emergency account which will enable first responders and emergency medical personnel to access vital healthcare information on the spot, without having to wait for physical copies of the information.
According to US government analysis, moving to a paperless healthcare system would see significant savings with regards to healthcare costs. It is estimated that approximately US$ 77 billion per year could be saved if healthcare practitioners did not have to rely on out-dated means of gathering patient data.
As such, the move by Chartis may prove to be a potential cost saver for many policyholders, in addition to providing a vital resource to expatriates worldwide in an era of heightened international mobility.
Chariman and CEO of MMR, Robert Lorsch, said of the partnership, “It is especially exciting to work with Chartis to introduce this life-saving service at a time when the world is spending hundreds of billions of dollars on health information technologies.”
A leading property-casualty and general insurance company, Chartis has over 40 million policyholders in 160 countries worldwide. With more than 90 years experience in the insurance industry, and a range of progressive products, Chartis aims to help clients comprehensively manage risk.
A wholly owned subsidiary of MyMedicalRecords Inc, MMR provides health information technologies to individual consumers and multinational companies around the world.