July 28, 2021

Insurers are not allowed to use data from fitness trackers – News

Insurance companies may be banned from using data from fitness trackers and health apps. They should also not let their prices and coverage depend on a customer’s willingness to install such an app. The Economics Committee of the House has approved a PS bill to that effect.

Electronics manufacturers are now bringing fitness trackers and (their smarter brothers) smartwatches onto the market en masse. The gadgets track physical activities, record calories burned, monitor body weight, monitor the risk of high blood pressure or diabetes, or measure sleep quality.

Distinguish between healthy and less healthy

All registered data ends up in a health app on the smartphone. The data can offer perspectives in the medical field, but according to the authors of the bill there are risks in the insurance field. For example, there are foreign examples of insurers requiring access to such data in order to offer certain benefits, enabling them to immediately distinguish between healthy and less healthy people.

The model for car liability insurance already exists in Belgium pay as you drive. A device is installed in the vehicle that registers certain parameters, such as braking, acceleration or the maintained speed. It then depends on these measurements whether an advantageous rate is obtained. The PS wants to prevent a similar system from seeing the light of day in the health field.

‘Health insurance must be based on a model based on partial or complete mutual insurance of the risks of illness, without discrimination based on health status’, said MP Christophe Lacroix.

Electronics manufacturers are now bringing fitness trackers and (their smarter brothers) smartwatches onto the market en masse. The gadgets keep track of physical activities, register calories burned, check body weight, monitor the risk of high blood pressure or diabetes, or measure sleep quality. All registered data ends up in a health app on the smartphone. The data can offer perspectives in the medical field, but according to the authors of the bill there are risks in the insurance field. For example, there are foreign examples of insurers that require access to such data in order to offer certain benefits, so that they can immediately distinguish between healthy and less healthy people. The pay as you drive model already exists in Belgium for car liability insurance. A device is installed in the vehicle that registers certain parameters, such as braking, acceleration or the maintained speed. It then depends on these measurements whether an advantageous rate is obtained. The PS wants to prevent a similar system from seeing the light of day in the health field. ‘Health insurance must be based on a model based on partial or complete mutual guarantee of the disease risks, without discrimination based on health status’, says MP Christophe Lacroix.