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.

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

08 October 2021

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

Medical scheme members over six years of age are at varying degrees of heightened risk of mortality when infected with COVID-19. There is also additional risk peaking in members aged 56 to 60. This drives home the importance of the preventive behaviours that limit our exposure to COVID-19 disease, and of being vaccinated against the disease.

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)

The South African Medical Journal has published Discovery Health's new research paper: "The impact of routine pulse oximetry use on outcomes in COVID-19-infected patients at increased risk of severe disease: a retrospective cohort analysis".

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)

The South African Medical Journal has published Discovery Health's new research paper: "The impact of routine pulse oximetry use on outcomes in COVID-19-infected patients at increased risk of severe disease: a retrospective cohort analysis".

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)

Discovery Health has won the John Hopkins University's 2020 Starfield Award for a second year for a project titled, "Reducing disparities in the delivery of primary healthcare by reducing unnecessary emergency department visits."

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)

The highly transmissible Delta variant has driven an exponential rise in COVID-19 cases in South Africa's third wave of infection, and in Gauteng in particular - the province that is the focus of this analysis. Encouragingly, our initial data shows that compared to the second wave of infection, COVID-19 infections in the third wave are not associated with increased risk of hospital admission.

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)

Discovery Health investigates the relative risk of a second COVID-19 infection - or reinfection - 90 days after recovering from a first bout of COVID-19.

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