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Use of Big Health and Actuarial Data for understanding Longevity and Morbidity Risks

This five-year research programme was commissioned in 2016 to develop new methods for assessing basis risk and evaluating longevity improvement based on Big Health and Actuarial Data

Programme objectives

  • identification and quantification of the key factors affecting mortality/longevity such as lifestyle choices, medical conditions and/or interventions
  • modelling of temporal changes in the factors affecting morbidity and mortality
  • evaluation of plausible scenarios in mortality trends due to particular medical advances or lifestyle changes on the population of insureds of relevance to actuarial community
  • tools to forecast longevity risk of a book based on realistic scenarios of uptake of various health behaviours and/or interventions, or of particular disruptions to population health.
The multidisciplinary University of East Anglia (UEA)/Aviva team is led by Prof Elena Kulinskaya and includes actuaries, statisticians, health economists, computer scientists and medical researchers. The funding supports three PhD students and a postdoctoral researcher. This is a summary of what has been achieved to date.

Research outputs

Life expectancy calculator

On 3 September 2020, the research programme launched to help illustrate the effect of various medical and lifestyle factors on life expectancy. The Mylongevity app uses big data from anonymised electronic health records in England and Wales to calculate life expectancy, taking into account socio-demographic and health characteristics such as chronic diseases.
The new app could potentially bring practical benefits, such as helping people plan for retirement. It could also contribute to scientific understanding of how certain behaviours and lifestyles affect longevity.
The app uses calculations based on UK life expectancy figures published by the Office for National Statistics and then refined by the researchers. The ARC Programme has identified and quantified the key factors affecting mortality and longevity and translated the results of their analysis into life expectancies for different risk profiles.



The research team have presented their findings at top actuarial and statistical conferences, including the Actuarial Teachers and Researchers Conference (Dublin 2021), International Conference in Actuarial Science, Data Science and Finance (2020), Insurance Data Science Conference (Zurich 2019), International Congress of Actuaries (Berlin 2018), International Biometric Society Conference (Barcelona 2018), International Society for Clinical Biostatistics Conferences (Vigo 2017, Belgium 2019), Mortality and Longevity Symposiums (2016, 2019), Life Conference (2017), Royal Statistical Society conference (2017, 2019) and Actuarial Research Conference (2016).

Contact Details

If you want more information about our research programmes please contact the IFoA Actuarial Research Centre:

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