Manulife selects startups to assist in Asia digital push

Manulife selects startups to assist in Asia digital push | Insurance Business Asia

Manulife selects startups to assist in Asia digital push

Manulife and global venture accelerator firm Brinc have announced three startups selected to be part of the Manulife BOOST 2021 cohort – Pulse Active Stations, OME Health and Planner Bee.

The three firms will work with Manulife and other members of the startup community to deliver new technology that makes buying insurance simpler and improves customer health and financial wellbeing in Asia, the insurer said.

Selected from a list of over 280 international firms, the winners were judged on their ability to address customer needs and make digital interactions more relevant and meaningful. Technology leaders from Manulife and Brinc are working on proofs of concept with the cohort and will trial selected technologies in the coming months.

“With an ambition to be the most digital, customer-centric global company in our industry, Manulife invests heavily to develop and deploy new technology, so that we deliver seamless, frictionless, and, above all, simple experiences to our customers,” said Mark Van den Broek, chief information officer and chief operating officer, Manulife Asia. “Manulife BOOST is one of our innovation programs that extends these efforts and connects us with outstanding startups who will help us drive products, services and digital experiences that are truly market-leading and differentiated.”

Pulse Active Stations created a smart health kiosk that administers biometric tests and generates a report with over 21 health indicators, including blood pressure and body fat percentage, as well as risk indicators for 12 lifestyle diseases, such as diabetes and heart ailments. Manulife said that the kiosk can serve as a useful engagement tool for advisors to talk to customers about their health. It is currently undergoing a test run in Indonesia.

Manulife is exploring opportunities with the two other firms. OME Health is a science-based personalised nutrition and health coaching platform, while Planner Bee is a digital financial aggregator and advisor that points customers to the right products based on their needs.

“The Manulife BOOST program has proven that there is a wealth of innovative startups in the market with the ideas and drive to build next-generation products and services,” said Bay McLaughlin, co-founder and chief operating officer of Brinc. “Offering these promising companies the chance to fine-tune and scale up their solutions, in partnership with an industry leader like Manulife, gives them a massive boost and will help drive industry transformation.”