16 Dec 2021

 

Leading a healthy and productive life is a common goal for many of us. This is why at Cigna Singapore, we are constantly innovating our solutions to improve your Whole Person Health, which includes your physical health and emotional wellbeing. As stress levels spike, exacerbated by social restrictions due to the pandemic, we need to pay more attention to our mental health. In fact, our recent studies indicate that stress-related illnesses are costing our economy up to US$2.3 billion each year.1

“It’s about recognising all-round holistic health. Not just physical, but mental and emotional health, and creating care that’s right for the individual,” says Selene Wong, Chief Marketing Officer, Cigna Singapore. She also shares that this is the reason why Cigna’s case management teams work with members directly, to curate a personalised treatment care path throughout their whole health journey. It’s all part of our DNA.

Pioneering a voice-activated stress test 

To improve the health and lives of our members, our drive to adopt cutting-edge solutions has led us to new and exciting discoveries. What if we told you we could assess whether you are feeling stressed out simply by measuring the way you talk to our digital app? Sounds like science fiction, but we’ve made it a reality. The Cigna StressWaves Test is one of our behavioural health initiatives developed together with Ellipsis Health, a medical technology developer in AI health and vocal biomarkers. Powered by Ellipsis Health’s artificial intelligence technology, Cigna StressWaves Test is a free online application which analyses voice patterns to assess an individual’s stress levels.

Built over 20 years of research, the decision-support tool is based on a dataset of more than 15,000 adults, ranging from 18 to over 80 years of age. The goal is to ensure the algorithms are robust enough to function effectively across different populations with diverse accents and levels of English-speaking ability. Stress is an inevitable part of life, but, prolonged stress isn’t healthy. It’s important to manage your stress levels before they start to have severe consequences on your mental health and wellbeing.

 

 

What does your heart say?

Preventive care — the detection or prevention of serious diseases when they are in the early stages — is another important aspect in our approach to enhancing Whole Person Health. As a result, we have worked hard to innovate this space, like our partnership with Belgian-based startup, FibriCheck, who developed the FDA-approved FibriCheck app which integrates artificial intelligence with preventive care. The app utilises a combination of collected data and algorithms to detect heart rhythm disorders like atrial fibrillation, one of the leading causes of strokes. In Singapore, cardiovascular disease and strokes accounted for almost 32 percent of deaths in 2020, so early detection is vital.2

To use the app, all users have to do is to place their finger on the camera of their mobile device for 60 seconds to record their pulse rhythm. This technique — based on photoplethysmography or PPG for short — is made even easier with a smart watch as the measurements are taken automatically at the wrist with minimal user intervention. So essentially, the app transforms your mobile phone or smart watch into a certified medical device.

“FibriCheck uses smartphone or smartwatch optical sensors to monitor heartbeats. Combined with AI, this software can accurately analyse a person’s heart rhythm — and save lives in the process if it senses any abnormalities,” explains Raymond Ng, CEO and Country Manager, Cigna Singapore. To obtain a complete heart health report, Cigna members simply need to check their pulse rhythms and submit their readings for seven consecutive days.

Innovating a healthier future

In a digitally-driven world, healthcare service providers need to develop more technologically advanced and customer-centric approaches to their products and solutions. At Cigna Singapore, our commitment is to develop a holistic and innovative care ecosystem, one capable of achieving better health outcomes and self-care management for our members, today and tomorrow. “Adopting new innovative enhancements to improve the lives of those we serve is critical,” Raymond emphasises. “On our journey to challenge the status quo, we strive to keep up with the rapid changes in healthcare consumption in order to stay relevant.”

 

 

Source:

1. MercerMarsh Benefits, Cigna. (2021). Be there when it matters: navigating employees’ mental health.

2. Singapore Heart Foundation. (2020). Heart disease statistics.

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