Discovery Health Insights

Discovery Health Insights

"The Discovery Group was founded by actuaries, and we have grown to become one of the largest employers of actuaries in the country. Everything in our business is measured - and we use those measurements to strategise, stay ahead of trends and plan accordingly, continually trying to extract the maximal value proposition for our services. During the COVID-19 period, our teams have performed ongoing studies and analyses of multiple aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the sole focus of understanding what more we can do to enhance and protect the lives of our customers. Considering this is a new disease, with sparse insights - every insight was useful to better align benefits, services and solutions. These insights have the potential to inform and transform our understanding and decision making in navigating the current landscape. We are excited to openly share these and other insights with the broader public through Discovery Health Insights. Unfortunately, a hallmark of the pandemic has been that misinformation has abounded. We are delighted to continue to provide a credible and robust set of analytics, to enhance dialogue and provide rational considered material for further consideration." - Dr Ryan Noach, CEO Discovery Health.

13 min read
2 doses of the J&J or 2 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine? New research out of South Africa reveals they're equally effective against serious illness caused by the Omicron variant.

18 May 2022

Two doses of either the Johnson & Johnson or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine deliver equal levels of protection against serious illness caused by the Omicron variant. On 4 May the New England Journal of Medicine published correspondence on this front, by leading South African academic research teams and Discovery Health.

13 min read
Discovery Health contributes key control group to first at-scale, real-world study of J&J COVID-19 vaccine's effectiveness (published in Lancet journal)

26 April 2022

In March 2022, the Lancet published an at-scale, real-world study on the excellent effectiveness of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine against serious illness during both South Africa's second and third wave of infection. Discovery Health provided an integral control group data set to this study.

13 min read
New (updated) analysis confirms early insights into Omicron variant's lowered tendency towards serious illness

25 March 2022

Authors: Shirley Collie (Chief Healthcare Analytics Actuary, Discovery Health), Lebohang Radebe (Data Scientist, Discovery Health), Tommy Chen (Actuary, Discovery Health) and Michael Cohen (Actuarial Analyst, Discovery Health)

5 min read
New study published in British Journal of Sports Medicine: Exercise protects against serious COVID-19 outcomes

10 February 2022

Authors: Lizelle Steenkamp (Senior Healthcare Statistician at Discovery Health)

7 min read
Diabetes and COVID-19: Poor blood-glucose control linked to serious COVID-19 outcomes

1 February 2022

Authors: Shirley Collie (Chief Analytics Actuary at Discovery Health), Sameera Haneef (Senior Actuary at Discovery Health), Claudia Pastellides (Actuary at Discovery Health) and Dr Dave Jacobs (Senior Clinician and Clinical Classification System Architect at Discovery Health)

7 min read
Encouraging preliminary data shows Omicron less likely to cause serious illness than past, dominant SARS-CoV-2 variants

14 December 2021

Authors: Shirley Collie (Chief Healthcare Analytics Actuary, Discovery Health), Tommy Chen (Actuary, Discovery Health) and Michael Cohen (Actuarial Analyst, Discovery Health)

11 min read
Discovery Health releases at-scale real-world analysis of Omicron outbreak; including collaboration with the SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC) to analyse vaccine effectiveness

14 December 2021

Discovery Health, South Africa's largest private health insurance administrator, releases at-scale real-world analysis of Omicron outbreak based on 211 000 COVID-19 test results in South Africa, including collaboration with the SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC) to analyse vaccine effectiveness.

10 min read
Shifts in health-seeking behaviour for non-COVID-19 healthcare

04 December 2021

Authors: Ismail Rasool (Chief Data Officer, Discovery Health) and Jared Champion (Senior Actuary, Discovery Health)

11 min read
Pfizer vaccine's real-world effectiveness in protecting against COVID-19 admission and death in the Discovery Health client population

03 November 2021

Authors: Shirley Collie (Chief Healthcare Analytics Actuary, Discovery Health) and Jared Champion (Senior Actuary, Discovery Health)

5 min read
Super immunity? Discovery Health data analysis shows 98% drop in risk of COVID admission for people who have both recovered from COVID-19 and who are fully vaccinated (Pfizer two-dose vaccine)

03 November 2021

Authors: Shirley Collie (Chief Healthcare Analytics Actuary, Discovery Health) and Jared Champion (Senior Actuary, Discovery Health)

10 min read
Getting COVID-19 puts a person at equal or much higher risk of adverse events than COVID-19 vaccination

03 November 2021

Authors: Shirley Collie (Chief Healthcare Analytics Actuary, Discovery Health), Lizelle Steenkamp (Head of Risk Intelligence, Discovery Health) and Jared Champion (Senior Actuary, Discovery Health), Tommy Chen (Actuary, Discovery Health)

6 min read
Two to eleven-fold higher risk of death from COVID-19 for all scheme members

08 October 2021

Authors: Shirley Collie (Chief Healthcare Analytics Actuary, Discovery Health) and Lizelle Steenkamp (Head of Risk Intelligence, Discovery Health)

7 min read
Why are COVID-19 vaccination rates declining amongst members of schemes administered by Discovery Health? What are possible drivers and deterrents of uptake?

04 October 2021

Authors: Shirley Collie (Chief Healthcare Analytics Actuary, Discovery Health) and Lizelle Steenkamp (Head of Risk Intelligence, Discovery Health)

3 min read
Using pulse oximeters could reduce likelihood of COVID-19 death

7 September 2021

Authors: Shirley Collie (Chief Analytics Actuary at Discovery Health), Jared Champion (Senior Actuary at Discovery Health), Tommy Chen (Actuary at Discovery Health) and Michael Cohen (Actuarial Analyst at Discovery Health)

5 min read
Discovery Health awarded prestigious John Hopkins University Starfield Award for second time

30 August 2021

Authors: Lizelle Steenkamp (Head of Risk Intelligence at Discovery Health), Matthew Zylstra (Senior Actuary, Risk Intelligence at Discovery Health) and Zack Shan (Actuary, Risk Intelligence at Discovery Health)

4 min read
Comparing severity of Gauteng's first, second and third waves of COVID-19 infection by investigating hospital admission rates

21 July 2021

Authors: Shirley Collie (Chief Healthcare Analytics Actuary, Discovery Health) and Tommy Chen (Actuary, Discovery Health)

1 min read
Risk of COVID-19 reinfection 90-days post-recovery from previous infection

9 July 2021

Authors: Shirley Collie (Chief Health Analytics Actuary) and Lizelle Steenkamp (Head of Risk Intelligence)

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