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KT to introduce new insurance program that rewards healthy lifestyles

South Korean mobile carrier KT has partnered with Nonghyup Life Insurance to introduce a new digital health care-based insurance program that offers benefits to a customer based on his or her fitness achievements tracked by wearable devices.

The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday, agreeing to merge KT’s Internet of Things technology and big data management capabilities with Nonghyup Life Insurance’s insurance package planning and marketing expertise.

A woman wearing a fitness smartwatch rides a bike (123RF)
A woman wearing a fitness smartwatch rides a bike (123RF)

Under the partnership, KT and Nonghyup plan to create a new insurance program that provides various rewards to subscribers according to their physical activity levels tracked by KT’s fitness wristband Neofit, which not only monitors walking distance but also recognizes and records some 100 types of fitness moves such as squats.

“Though it’s too early to discuss details at this point, the benefits would likely come in the form of insurance fee discounts or additional awards,” a KT spokesperson said.

KT and Nonghyup decided to embark on this business as global insurance companies have successfully introduced new insurance programs that reward cash to subscribers via health-enhancing activities tracked via wearable fitness trackers.

For instance, global insurance group AIA introduced the AIA Vitality wellness program that offers insurance discounts, benefits at fitness centers and hotel discounts based on healthy lifestyle habits.

A person’s living pattern is measured by markers including the number of steps walked daily, tracked via a smartphone or wearable device, as well as how much a person spends on purchasing healthy food such as vegetables and fruits.

The program is designed to financially motivate people to walk more, eat healthier and embrace wellness while also extending the value of wearables beyond their basic function as personal physical activity trackers.

KT said it has already amassed data proving that this new business model could be successful. Last year, the mobile network operator distributed Neofit to 1,000 Nonghyup employees. Among them, those who engaged in more fitness activities -- tracked via Neofit -- received additional awards.

“Together with Nonghyup Life Insurance, we will introduce a next-generation healthcare service business model that can offer subscribers financial benefits while also enhancing their health,” said Senior Executive Vice President of KT’s Future Convergence Business Office Yun Kyung-lim.

By Sohn Ji-young (jys@heraldcorp.com)

Senior Executive Vice President of KT’s Future Convergence Business Office Yun Kyung-lim (left) and Nonghyup Life Insurance CEO Seo Ki-bong (KT)
Senior Executive Vice President of KT’s Future Convergence Business Office Yun Kyung-lim (left) and Nonghyup Life Insurance CEO Seo Ki-bong (KT)
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