There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding the use of artificial intelligence in the Med Tech and Life Science field. However, uncertainty also brings cutting-edge opportunities for brokers who are willing to keep up to date and stay informed on new developments.
This highly informative podcast takes a critical look at AI’s role in Med Tech and Life Science, the relevant challenges, and potential opportunities for brokers to take advantage of this revolutionary chapter.
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Narrator 1 [00:00:05] Welcome to IBtalk, the leading podcast for the insurance industry across the UK and Ireland, brought to you by Insurance Business.
Mia Wallace [00:00:22] Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of IBtalk the insurance industry podcast brought to you by Insurance Business. My name is Mia Wallace, Senior Editor of Insurance at Insurance Business. And today we're going to be taking a look behind the scenes at what's happening in the med tech and life sciences insurance sector. And who better to lead us on that journey than Craig Mounser, practice leader for Med Tech and Life Sciences at Travelers Europe. Many thanks for joining me here today, Craig.
Craig Mounser [00:00:50] No problem at all. Thank you for having me.
Mia Wallace [00:00:51] It's a pleasure to have you here. And to kick us off, it would be great to hear a little bit about you and your role at Travelers Europe.
Craig Mounser [00:00:58] Okay, thank you. So I've recently been promoted to Med Tech and Life Science Practice Leader as you, you've announced. So my role involves the development and management of underwriting strategies for med tech and life sciences here within travelers, which means I'm responsible for guidance training and supporting of underwriters across our seven branches in the UK and Ireland. And that porting brokers in writing new business and retaining their existing business in the life science and med tech space. Ultimately, my goal is to achieve growth and profitability objectives that are set by Travelers. So my typical day will involve me traveling to one of Travelers branches, and I live, I live in Norfolk. So there's no such thing as a short commute for me, I divide my day really between external meetings with our broker community. And in those meetings, I'll be listening to how I can assist the brokers in helping them in targeting new business and or retaining their existing business. And then the other half of my day will be internal meetings with our branch staff, and I'll be delivering training on the features and benefits, and perhaps the USPS of Travelers, med tech and life sciences wedding. And we'll be looking at how our product differs from those of our competitors. And what we're trying to do is look at ways in which we can bespoke our tenders to meet the requirements of the brokers in their customers, whilst also offering the clients additional services to improve upon their incumbent offering
Mia Wallace [00:02:19] Fantastic. And can you tell me a little bit about who your clients are? And what kind of risks you're handling on a day to day basis?
Craig Mounser [00:02:27] Yeah, sure. So so we've got a really eclectic mix of customers that we hold and, and really different mix of customers new business opportunities that we see. And our business, the business that we're targeting pours into both the medical technology and the life sciences space. So for us medical technology is hardware or software. And that's hardware or software that's used to diagnose, monitor and or prevent illness within humans and or animals. So we do look at veterinary software and hardware. And that will include a wide range of devices, anything from surgical devices to MRI machines, that's in the hardware space. Obviously, medical software could be, for example, and software used to transfer patient medical data records between the respective departments within the same hospital, or potentially across multiple hospitals. We also have a large number of contract research organizations with our portfolio. And for those who perhaps don't know, a contract research organization, is a company that provides support to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device sectors. So a contract research organization will undertake various research services on a contract basis on behalf of perhaps the pharmaceutical company. And then the other area that we focus upon his research and development of new drugs. So these are companies that are involved in research and development of compounds and or drugs. And these organizations may specialize in it in an individual disease, perhaps cancer, or a particular scientific discipline. Like genomics, for example. There's a tendency for large pharma to outsource some or all of their drug discovery work to these companies, on the basis that these companies specialize and can perhaps serve the purpose cheaper. The R&D companies will provide advice and consultancy services to see how the drugs can react under certain conditions, before providing these results to the pharmaceutical companies at certain stages in their research.
Mia Wallace [00:04:22] Yeah, it seems to me that med tech and life sciences are always in the news at the moment for one reason or another. And I wonder if you could outline some of the key trends and developments that you're seeing impact the space at this time?
Craig Mounser [00:04:35]
Sure. So in May of this year, the Chancellor of the Exchequer revealed the 650 million growth package to accelerate the UK's Life Science sector with a view to drive forward new medical treatments in the sector. Life Sciences is one of the UK's most successful sectors worth over 94 billion to the UK economy in 2021. The UK life sciences sector employs over 280,[000 people There has been a new life sciences facility established at the Manchester Science Park. There is also significant investment in linking the UK two lane life science centers, Cambridge and Oxford. The industry is increasingly seeing more devices both hardware and software designed to monitor and treat patients outside of a medical environment, or hospital is actually the most expensive place to monitor and treat a patient. It's there for preferable wherever possible for a patient to convalesce at home, whilst being monitored remotely by the medical professionals. So, for example, a huge number of mobile phone applications have been designed to work in conjunction with wearable devices to monitor vital statistics of the patient, which will ultimately feed back to the middle medical professionals, allowing them to monitor the well being of the patient who's recovering or receiving treatment from their home environment.
Mia Wallace [00:05:50] So you can really see the applications of where AI could get involved in the med tech and life sciences space. What are some of the key opportunities and challenges that you see AI bringing into the space?
Craig Mounser [00:06:01] So artificial intelligence is increasingly being used right away across the medical healthcare space, we've written a number of artificial intelligence power solutions used to support medical professionals in in their clinical decisions. So to give you some examples of those we've seen where artificial intelligence is used in cancer diagnosis, perhaps in identification of heart disease, for the treatment of rare diseases, for the automated image diagnosis, for training and guidance of surgeons, and for the development of new medicines. The nervousness with AI is that we have to assume that what the AI is telling us is correct. However, AI only know what it is taught is therefore imperative to understand the data source from which the AI has learned. Is this open source software AI source gathered from the web? Or is his closed source data? Preferably the latter. But where has that closed source data had been pulled from? What measures have been taken to eliminate potential bias within that data source? So Is there potential for bias around race, gender, age, all of which can impact the results that are generated by the artificial intelligence? We need to be alert to the risk of AI hallucination, where it essentially arrives at an answer it is generated itself. The needs to therefore be a regular human review of the AI results is their medical professional review, we won't see the human involvement, or we're willing to accept this. So physicians signing off the diagnosis trained professional signing off the AI findings.
Mia Wallace [00:07:31] So where are you seeing AI being utilized while at the moment and where do you think it might be utilized better?
Craig Mounser [00:07:38] So just recently, we saw where AI can watch and learn from 2[00 videos of brain surgery in a period of only 10 months, it would take a brain surgeon 10 years to build up a similar level of experience. It will therefore only take AI a small number of years to gather more experienced than the greatest brain surgeon in the world today. I therefore see it as a great example to use AI in conjunction perhaps with augmented reality to assist surgeons in their training, teaching the surgeons various examples, various scenarios that they may never see in a real life environment. However, in my opinion, we are right to be cautious about allowing AI to make the diagnosis and prognosis because of that risk of AI hallucination. However, I think we should absolutely be embracing the time and the cost savings that AI can generate. AI can view images to identify abnormalities in a fraction of the time that a human eye can with a greater degree of accuracy,
Mia Wallace [00:08:32] And how its Travelers Europe working to support its brokers in the med tech and life sciences space and in doing so, supporting end insurance as well?
Craig Mounser [00:08:41] So we're reaching out and educating our brokers on the various regulatory changes that we're seeing in the UK life science and med tech space. We're educating on the trends in the market and the way in which our wording has adapted accordingly to meet those trends and regulatory needs. Specific to the customers themselves. What we're trying to do is bespoke the cover to meet their needs. So particularly I'm thinking in relation to life science companies, and the way in which their business interruption works. So life science companies will they don't operate in the way in which many other companies will operate in the sense that their income stream is not necessarily gross revenue or gross profit. These companies will tend to generate revenue from milestone payments from larger pharmaceutical companies. And the way in which that works is subject to the insured meeting a particular milestone in their research, they will then be rewarded with a payment. Clearly, if the if the insured cannot reach that milestone payment due to disruption at their at their premises perhaps fire then that has a serious implication on their revenue stream. So the way in which we work is we will ultimately pay that milestone payment on the insurance behalf following a loss to ensure that they're able to get back up on their feet and ultimately meet and ultimately achieve their goals in that research set. Finally, we cover committed costs. So committed costs are those scenarios where the insured has, has taken a third party facility in six months time, they have paid that cost, but ultimately they have no use for it. In the event that there is damage at their premises, we cover the historic expenses. So this is the cost of getting their research back to the level it was at prior to the loss. And we cover the continuing expenses. This is perhaps the most important element of covering that it's continuing to pay the scientists who are carrying out the research, those scientists hold all the intellectual property. So without those scientists to study grinds to a halt. Finally, we'll pay the increased cost of working. So the increased cost of working to ensure that the science is able to continue at another premises, or perhaps it's a case of getting in new machinery, all these covers are provided under a flexible limit of loss. A flexible limit of loss, as the name would suggest is designed to flex to meet the costs for the individual insured as as the last may require. So it may be that one particular insured has a greater continuing expenses than another or it may be better that a second insured has a particularly big milestone payment during six months. The cover is designed to flex subject to an overall limit to meet the client's needs.
Mia Wallace [00:11:16] And for brokers who are looking to find out a little bit more, what's the best way to get in contact with you and your team?
Craig Mounser [00:11:21] Sure, so if I could advise any brokers looking to contact us to go to travelers.co.uk. And within there, if you can navigate to the technology industry page, where you'll find a contact sheet. And that contact sheet will give you not only my name, and my telephone number, but also those of my colleagues in the medical technology practice.
Mia Wallace [00:11:41] Fantastic. Thank you so much for that, Craig, and thank you for all your great practical and actionable advice and insights today and thank you for taking the time to speak with me and share your insights into what's happening in this fast evolving space.
Craig Mounser [00:11:55] Thank you, Mia.
Mia Wallace [00:11:56] And thank you also to everybody for tuning in. And I look forward to welcome you next time here on IBtalk.
Narrator [00:12:03] Thank you for listening to this episode of IB UK talk. You can listen to the latest episodes on Apple, Spotify, Amazon and all major listening channels. Just search for IB talk
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