How can a traditional insurance company build a new business in wellness?

We collaborated with a large multinational insurance company to launch a new transformative business in health and wellness.

Fitness trackers. Gym memberships. Health challenges. All ways companies are trying to address the rising costs of healthcare through an active role in employee wellness. These efforts, however, have largely been ad-hoc or followed a one-size-fits-all approach. As a result, employers have struggled to drive any real engagement or behavior change among the higher risk, highest cost employees.

To take on this challenge, Doblin led a large insurance company to create a new disruptive offering in the health and wellness marketplace by exploring the intersection of both employer and employee health needs.

Building a new business.

In fewer than 14 months, we collaboratively designed, built and piloted in-market an integrated, multi-partner digital platform for personalized employee health support. This resulted in platform adoption rates more than 45%, while demonstrating health improvement outcomes, and delivering the employer with total cost savings — including lower claims, decreased use in disability leave, and reduced absenteeism.

5 Requirements Driving the Offer Development:

  1. Improve employee wellness--including physical, mental and financial well-being
  2. Create a desirable offering for both employees and employers
  3. Combine the company’s data assets with advanced analytics to create new value
  4. Require greater use and integration of mobile and digital tools and channels
  5. Differentiate the company from competitors to drive substantial new business value for the company.

Hand-in-hand with our clients, our team spent hundreds of hours in the field conducting ethnographic research. We talked to, observed, and walked in the shoes of those people whose lives we were impacting the most in order to uncover insights about their health and well-being and the pain points in managing wellness. This included high-risk, high-cost employees, as well as the HR sponsors who decide which programs to offer.

We tested and prototyped the business concept and an integrated experience with lead consumers, deploying a fast tempo “test-learn-adapt” cycle to drive alignment for a Minimum Viable Offering (MVO). We also analyzed and established critical partnerships in the rapidly evolving digital therapeutic and e-health market, establishing Letters of Intent with collaborators that would guide future pilot activities.

The concept was embraced by client leadership and endorsed by their board. They’ve set a goal to scale its impact to touch 1,000,000+ lives.

Our work with this client had a much broader impact, where we helped the client build the capability to develop and drive organic growth opportunities on their own.

Lasting Impact: Building a capability

For more than 20 years, the client relied on mergers and acquisitions to achieve scalable growth, but through this project we helped stand up and train a ten-person team in innovation methods so they can maintain momentum and build on the success of this project. This initiative was a demonstration program for the newly operating innovation center we helped the client design and launch.

Our client continues to point to this project as a best practice as they further expand a portfolio of innovation beyond the core business. Most recently, they used their new design-led capability to rapidly launch a new business in the fast-growing wealth management and robo-advisor space. In doing so, they made the unorthodox decision to turn down an acquisition opportunity and instead launch a more robust, homegrown offering into the market.

We'd also like to acknowledge the efforts our Deloitte collaborators Christine Robson (Monitor Deloitte) and Tyler Collins (Deloitte Digital) for their commitment and contributions to this project.


million in potential revenue


months from insight to market


types of innovation


new strategic partners