10 Fintechs / Finservs Impacting Global Health
April 7 is World Health Day – a day celebrated annually to mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948. This year, the theme is centered around Our Planet, Our Health, with the goal to focus global attention on the actions needed to keep not just people, but the entire planet healthy. The more work we do as a society to promote the well-being of the earth and its inhabitants, the better off we’ll all be.
Encouraging both individual health and promoting broader societal health initiatives (like accessible healthcare, clean drinking water and proper sanitation) is critical. Proven interventions such as government programs or charitable initiatives that expand individual access to health care and promote healthy behaviors (i.e. moderate exercise, adhering to prescriptions, eating more vegetables) can reduce the global disease burden by 40 percent over 20 years. And the economic impact is staggering. Better health could “add $12 trillion to global GDP in 2040 – an 8 percent boost, or 0.4 percent a year faster growth.”
This is why the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (and the companies that aim to meet them) are so important. Including everything from Good Health and Well-Being, Clean Water and Sanitation, to Affordable and Clean Energy, the goals aim to ensure equal access globally to the basic health fundamentals some of us take for granted. That inequality has been particularly prevalent in the past couple of years, revealing underlying weaknesses in all areas of society and highlighting the urgency of creating sustainable well-being for all individuals. The current global economic design is not sustainable – with an inequitable distribution of income, wealth and power resulting in a majority of the population living in poverty. As the World Health Organization states, “A well-being economy has human well-being, equity and ecological sustainability as its goals. These goals are translated into long-term investments, well-being budgets, social protection and legal and fiscal strategies. Breaking these cycles of destruction for the planet and human health requires legislative action, corporate reform and individuals to be supported and incentivized to make healthy choices.”
We’ve chosen to take this World Health Day to look at some unique fintechs and financial services organizations who have these goals in mind – fostering better health for people and the planet at large.
- Sempre Health – Working with regional health-care plans, Sempre Health encourages users to be responsible about taking medications as prescribed and re-filling as required. With discount codes reducing the cost of prescription co-pays and easy refill reminders, the incentive is clear – taking your prescribed meds as intended benefits your health and your wallet.
- PayZen – A mobile app that uses data and AI to create individualized patient payment options, PayZen aims to make healthcare more affordable for American families. The company even offers an innovative spin on the ever-popular Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) product, with their own version referred to as Care Now, Pay Later. Health-care providers have access to PayZen’s predictive modeling power, enabling them to offer the right payment options to the right patients at the right time via a fully automated process.
- Novus – The UK’s first B Corp certified neobank, Novus bills itself as a ‘force for good,’ offering a payment card where you earn impact coins for every payment. Coins can then be used to support over 10 different causes – including ocean conservation, education, hunger alleviation and reforestation. Their app also allows you to track your carbon footprint and discover ethical, sustainable brands in a variety of categories, with additional incentives for purchasing from them.
- Arogya Finance – With a belief that access to healthcare is a basic human right, India-based Arogya Finance has partnered with local hospitals and health-care providers to enable direct access to medical loans for individuals and their families. The health insurance system in India is complicated, with penetration notoriously low – Arogya Finance’s method of providing funds directly to patients means it can lend even to those outside of formal lending structures.
- MedPut – A unique employee benefit app, MedPut pays for and negotiates unpaid healthcare bills, with repayments made through small, consistent payroll deductions. The deductions are interest-free, with no credit check required, and having MedPut negotiate on the patient’s behalf saves time, stress and ideally even money, with the organization frequently able to negotiate discounts on larger bills.
- Lynx – With a goal of introducing modern fintech to healthcare, Lynx is an API-connected healthcare payments, banking and e-commerce platform. With the majority of Americans experiencing climbing deductibles and increasing healthcare costs, Lynx has combined fintech with deep healthcare expertise, enabling healthcare companies to improve affordability, drive health engagement and enhance financial security.
- M-KOPA Solar – This African company’s innovative pay-as-you-go financing model allows customers to get instant access to life-changing products, while slowly building ownership with a series of flexible micro-payments. One such plan involves solar power – allowing families to reliably power basic necessities like electric lights, refrigerators and charging ports.
- Babylon Health – Combining AI and innovative technology with human expertise, Babylon Health offers affordable and accessible healthcare to a global audience. With 24/7 access to doctors, nurses, personalized care plans, referrals to specialists and personalized digital health tools through mobile devices, the Babylon app facilitates partnerships with healthcare providers to ensure greater accessibility and ease of payments.
- ShareTheMeal – An award-winning crowdfunding smartphone app designed to fight global hunger through the UN World Food Programme, ShareTheMeal enables users to make small donations to specific WFP projects and even tracks the progress of the programs. As of this January, the app has 6 million downloads and has contributed to over 130 million meals shared to those in need.
- Klima – A Germany-based smartphone app that encourages carbon neutrality, Klima helps users offset their carbon footprint in four simple steps: by calculating your carbon footprint; offsetting your footprint by investing in climate projects; seeing your climate achievements in action; and offering personalized tips and checklists to further shrink your climate impact. Users can choose to invest in projects related to reforestation, solar power and providing clean cookstoves to those in need.
It’s clear there is more work to be done, and quickly, in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and realize the WHOs dream of a healthier planet. We’re excited to see all of the innovative fintechs and other organizations emerging with new and unique ways to get us to a #HealthierTomorrow.