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

This commissioned research programme develops 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. For more information, please visit the team's research project website.
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Recent Events
  • ARC Webinar Series 2018 – Monday 17 September, 9am and 5pm (BST)
Following the successful launch of last year’s webinar series, the Actuarial Research Centre (ARC) is running a further series of webinars to showcase its largest cutting-edge research programmes, addressing some of the significant challenges in actuarial science.
During this webinar, viewers heard from the Principal Investigator of this research programme, Professor Elena Kulinskaya (University of East Anglia) and Co-Investigator Nigel Wright (Aviva).
The objectives of this research programme and some of the early developments since its commencement in 2016 were highlighted. Viewers were able to join the debate from any location in the world. Viewers voted in polls and asked questions via the live feed.
A recording of the webinar is available to view here and is posted on the IFoA's online learning webpages.
A copy of the presentation is available to view on the research programme's outputs webpage.
It was not possible to answer all of the questions submitted during the webinar. Answers to these additional questions can be found here. 
  • ARC Sessional: How Medical Advances and Health Interventions Will Shape Future Longevity
Following the success of the impact workshop in May, the Big health and Actuarial Data research programme held a sessional meeting in Edinburgh on 25 June.
In this sessional Professor Elena Kulinskaya (Principal Investigator) and Nigel Wright (Co-investigator) discussed Prof Kulinskaya’s co-authored paper How Medical Advances and Health Interventions Will Shape Future Longevity. This paper showed how estimated mortality hazards can be translated to hypothetical changes in life expectancies at the individual and population levels.
A copy of the presentation is available to view on the research programme's outputs webpage.
  • International Congress of Actuaries, Berlin 2018
Wednesday 6 June, 14.00 – 16.00
Professor Elena Kulinskaya and the research programme’s co-investigators delivered a presentation on the 'role of medical advances in population longevity improvement. A case study of statins'.
For more information please visit the conference website. A copy of the presentation is available to view on the research programme's outputs webpage.
  • ARC Impact Workshop: The impact of medical advances and health interventions on longevity and population projections

Thursday 17 May, Staple Inn Hall, London

Delivered in partnership with the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the ESRC funded Business and Local Government Data Research Centre, this invitation only impact workshop, brought together a wide range of stakeholders to explore how medical advances and health interventions could impact on longevity and population projections, and to consider potential outcomes for public policy and business/industry models, across a range of sectors.

Jules Constantinou (President-elect, IFoA) chaired the event and Professor David Hand, Imperial College London and past president of the Royal Statistical Society, introduced the day’s events. The audience also heard from experts from Aviva, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Legal and General and the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The day closed with a discussion panel, chaired by Dame Karen Dunnell, past Director of the ONS. Presentations from the day are available to view on the research programme’s outputs webpage.

Professor Elena Kulinskaya, the Principal Investigator for this research programme was delighted with the day’s success and stated that “the input at this ARC impact workshop, from such a broad range of experts, will provide hugely valuable insight to the research programme".

The key highlights from the impact workshop will be posted here soon.

  • International Biometric Conference
8-13 July 2018, Barcelona, Spain
Dr Lisanne Gitsels delivered a presentation on the ideal blood pressure: assessment of fixed and variant targets over time in clinical trial and routine clinical practice.
A copy of the presentation is available to view on the research programme's outputs webpage.

Contact Details

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

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Events calendar

  • IFAM event - Actuarial Teachers’ & Researchers’ Conference 2019

    Institute for Financial and Actuarial Mathematics Department of Mathematical  Sciences The University of Liverpool Mathematical Sciences Building Peach Street Liverpool, L69 7ZL
    27 June 2019 - 29 June 2019

    Spaces available

    The Institute for Financial and Actuarial Mathematics (IFAM) at the University of Liverpool is pleased to host the 2019 Actuarial Teachers’ and Researchers’ Conference from 27-28 June 2019. This annual two-day event has been running annually now for many years, each time hosted by a different university, and provides all those interested in actuarial research and education a great opportunity to share their ideas and catch up on the latest developments.

  • IFoA/ASM Joint Professional Skills Training – Kuala Lumpur

    Menara AIA, Auditorium, 99 Jalan Ampang, 50450, Kuala Lumpur
    28 June 2019

    Spaces available

    The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) and Actuarial Society of Malaysia (ASM) are organising a joint Professional Skills Training (PST) in Kuala Lumpur. This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Life, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • SIAS: The Impact of Air Pollution on Health and Life Expectancy

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    2 July 2019

    Spaces available

    Air pollution has gained increasing attention lately. Nicola Oliver, head of longevity and mortality research for Medical Intelligence, will discuss not only the impacts of air pollution on health and life expectancy but also how as an industry we should be addressing it.

  • Spaces available

    The actuarial profession has much to offer the world of banking. In this webinar actuaries with experience in various fields of banking will talk about the opportunities there are in banking; describing the actuarial aspects of the work they do as well as other roles within their area of banking.

  • Implications of 2019 IFRS 17 Exposure Draft

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    24 July 2019

    Towards the end of June, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is expected to publish an Exposure Draft (ED) of limited changes to its insurance contracts standard IFRS 17, effective date 2022. To help IFoA members, the IFoA’s cross-practice Financial Reporting Group (FRG) is hosting an event at Staple Inn covering these developments. 

    For more information on the FRG please visit this webpage

  • KSS event – The Regulatory Perspective

    Deloitte Saltire Court 20 Castle Terrace Edinburgh EH1 2EG
    5 September 2019

    Spaces available

    This KSS talk, presented by the FCA Head of Department in Scotland, will focus on the following 3 main areas:

    • FCA business plan priorities
    • The future of regulation
    • FCA Engagement in Scotland
  • Sessional Research Event - Risk Margin Working Party

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn London, WC1V 7QJ
    9 September 2019

    Spaces available

    For life insurers in the UK, the risk margin is one of the most controversial aspects of the Solvency II regime. Following its implementation, the risk margin came under considerable criticism for being too large and too sensitive to interest rate movements. These criticisms are particularly valid for annuity business – such business is of great significance to the national system for retirement provision. This criticism has led to political interest, and the risk margin was a major element of the Treasury Committee inquiry into Solvency II.

  • GIRO Conference 2019

    EICC, The Exchange, 150 Morrison St, Edinburgh EH3 8EE
    24-26 September 2019
    Spaces available

    GIRO is attended annually by over 800 delegates and speakers who are keen to discuss key topics such as Pricing, Reserving, Modelling and the future of the insurance industry. GIRO 2018 was a huge success and we have opened bookings early for what we hope will be another brilliant conference at the EICC in Edinburgh this year. 


  • Life Conference 2019

    The Convention Centre Dublin, Spencer Dock, North Wall Quay, Dublin 1
    20-22 November 2019
    Spaces available

    The Life Conference is the premier event for professionals interested in life insurance.  Offering a wide range of workshops and plenary sessions it’s the perfect opportunity to discover what’s hot and current in life insurance ensuring you get up to date on the latest thinking and innovation whilst meeting and exchanging ideas with a broad range of professionals.

  • Autumn Lecture 2019, London - Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP

    Lincoln's Inn The Treasury Office, London WC2A 3TL
    2 December 2019

    Spaces available

    The IFoA is pleased to announce that this year’s Autumn Lecture will feature the Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP as its guest speaker.  Nicky has previously served as Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Minister for Women. She now chairs the Treasury Select Committee whose remit is to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of HM Treasury, along with all of its agencies and associated bodies.