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New program to speed up cancer care launches in Australia

Insurance provider AIA Australia has launched a digital health management program enabling cancer patients to receive care as soon as their claim is lodged.

The CancerAid Health Coach Program is provided to AIA Australia customers while they are receiving cancer treatment and is run in conjunction with CancerAid’s app. In addition to the app, customers have access to healthcare professionals who provide personalised health coaching over the telephone to support them through their cancer treatment.

In October 2018, AIA Australia became the first life insurer to partner with CancerAid to assist customers undergoing cancer treatment to achieve better health outcomes. The pilot program consisted of 50 customers, educating them on how to better manage their care while empowering them to actively participate in decisions around their health management. This evidence-based program was developed by cancer specialists and is delivered by health professionals via tele-health. This unique service utilises the best digital offering available in conjunction with face-to-face care.

Damien Mu, CEO of AIA Australia and New Zealand, said the CancerAid Health Coach Program is now being rolled out to all AIA customers with cancer, enabling those who have been affected by the deadly disease to achieve better health outcomes.

“At AIA, we not only pay claims, we want to support our customers and aim to make a difference in their lives. Partnering with CancerAid provides an opportunity to do that and help our customers live healthier, longer, better lives,” Mr Mu said.

Simonie Fox, AIA Australia group strategy manager, rehabilitation and claims, said AIA recognises that better health outcomes can be achieved if the life insurer offers services early.

“We have customers who are able to start the CancerAid Health Coach Program before they have even commenced their chemotherapy and radiotherapy. We are able to truly make a difference in the lives of these cancer patients at a time when they are extremely vulnerable.”

The program educates AIA Australia customers about other wellness and occupational rehabilitation service offerings, such as CaRe Movement™, a specifically designed exercise physiology program for cancer patients who are still receiving treatment.

Around 35 per cent of customers who completed the CancerAid program then progressed into an AIA Australia wellness program, which further assists with occupational rehabilitation. After completion of the pilot, there was a 39 per cent improvement in the number of patients actively managing their health by tracking their symptoms via the app.

The program covers:

• Symptom tracking
• The importance of activity and exercise
• Diet and nutrition
• Sleep
• Techniques to improve mental health

“We are extremely excited to partner with AIA to be able to bring our innovative program to even more patients,” CancerAid co-founder Dr Raghav Murali-Ganesh said.

“The program is based on the concept of participatory health, whereby we empower patients and caregivers to make behavioural changes to drive improved clinical outcomes with access to evidence-based tools and support for patients who are in need of this.”