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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.
Upcoming Event 
Beyond proportional hazards: statistical methods for assessment of the impact of medical advances and health interventions on longevity and population projections – workshop
Wednesday 30 October 2019, Staple Inn Hall, London
This is a free workshop and eligible for CPD. You can book your place here.   
What the workshop will cover
This workshop covers contemporary methods of survival analysis and their use in assessment of possible changes in longevity and population life expectancy due to medical advances.
Technical content
Cox regression is the most popular method of survival analysis. However it is only applicable under a strong assumption of proportional hazards. This workshop will explore novel advanced methods of survival analysis, which can be used for time-varying hazards and covariates.  One of these methods will be the landmark analysis. The workshop will provide a detailed introduction to landmark analysis and a case study on the effect of statins on longevity. Three additional case studies will be further discussed: on stroke, diabetes and the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Level of detail
Sufficient for general understanding of the statistical methods and their application to longevity and population projections.
Prior knowledge
Some knowledge of survival analysis would be beneficial but is not essential.
Target audience
Life and health actuaries and data analysts. Actuarial Students.
Expectations as to what attendees will take away from workshop
Attendees will acquire understanding of novel statistical methods and their possible applications to longevity-related tasks in life insurance.
Recent Events
  • IFoA’s Protection, Health & Care (PHC) Conference – July 2019
This commissioned research programme develops new methods for assessing basis risk and evaluating longevity improvement based on Big Health and Actuarial Data. The programme addresses a number of target conditions and health factors.
As part of the IFoA’s PHC Conference, Prof Elena Kulinskaya and the programme’s three PhD students, recorded four short webinars to provide viewers with an update on the research findings.
Part 1: Introduction – Prof Elena Kulinskaya (Principal Investigator)
Part 2: Stroke Analysis - Padma Chutoo (PhD Student)
Part 3: Hormone Replacement Therapy Analysis - Nurunnahar Akter (PhD Student)
Part 4: Diabetes Analysis - Njabulo Ncube (PhD Student)
  • 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 2018 , 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 2018 , 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".

Contact Details

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

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Events calendar

  • IFoA & PRI Webinar: TCFD – leaders and challenges

    Online webinar
    2 September 2019

    Spaces available

    In collaboration with the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, the Principles of Responsible Investment is delighted to host this webinar discussing the response to the TCFD’s recommendations two years on from their publication. The webinar will feature new analysis of the 591 investors representing $45 trillion who responded to PRI’s 2019 climate indicators, insights from the past Chair of the IFoA’s Resource and Environment Board as well as an investor case study of implementation in practice from Aviva. 

  • SIAS Event: Climate Zero to Climate Hero

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

    Spaces available

    An introductory session to help you get ahead with climate change.

    • Science, terminology and initiatives: handy facts to keep in your back pocket 
    • Getting your point across: how to influence people and avoid common traps and pitfalls
    • Taking action: what are actuaries expected to do...and what are we actually doing?
  • 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
  • Professional Skills Training session (Jointly held with China Life)

    China Life Insurance, Beijing •  China Life Shanghai Office • China Life Shenzhen Office  
    6 September 2019

    Spaces available

    Friday, 6 September, Beijing Local Time (CST) 14.00-16.30; British Summer Time (BST) 07.00-9.30

    The IFoA Beijing Office and China Life are pleased to be co-hosting a Professional Skills Training (PST) session in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen on Friday, 6 September. Wen Li (FIA), the IFoA Lead Representative in China and East Asia, will lead the PST presentation and discussion on ‘Getting it right!’.

    The main venue will be in Beijing. Members in Shanghai and Shenzhen can join the interaction with Beijing via video conference at China Life’s regional venues. (see full details below)

  • 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. 


  • Chief Actuaries and Senior Life Actuaries Workshop 2019

    Staple Inn Hall High Holborn London WC1V 7QJ
    2 October 2019

    Spaces available

    This workshop, now in its sixth year, is aimed at senior actuaries working in life insurance - predominantly Chief Actuaries, but also Reviewing Actuaries and others working in risk and financial reporting. It will provide seven hours of relevant CPD.

  • The Future of the Actuarial Profession

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn London WC1V 7QJ
    3 October 2019

    Fully booked.


    Three actuaries – and CEOs – discuss their views on how the business world is changing and what that might mean for actuaries in the future.

  • Spaces available

    Have you ever thought about working in wider fields? Would you like to play a role in the fight against climate change to make the planet better? 

    It can be difficult to do this - but seeing an example you can follow can make it more realistic. In this ‘green’ case study a template is outlined to show how actuaries can apply their skills more broadly - and in doing so, to make a difference.

  • RSS/IFoA Data Science Ethics: the role of practitioners

    Royal Statistical Society, 12 Errol St, London EC1Y 8LX
    7 October 2019

    Spaces available

    The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and the Royal Statistical Society have worked together to develop joint ethics guidance on data science. This is the culmination of an 18 month programme of practitioner led work. 
    Join us for the launch of this new guidance, with a high-level panel discussion which will explore the role of data science practitioners and professional bodies in data ethics. 

  • Sessional Meeting - Autonomous Vehicles and impacts on the wider insurance industry

    Staple Inn, High Holborn, London WC1V 7QJ         
    28 October 2019

    Spaces available

    The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries is running a sessional meeting on autonomous vehicles on 28th October.  The session will showcase the work of the IFoA “Autonomous Vehicles” working party alongside a number of expert external presenters. 

  • ARC Event: Beyond Proportional Hazards

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    30 October 2019

    Spaces available

    ARC Event: Beyond Proportional Hazards: Statistical methods for assessment of the impact of medical advances and health interventions on longevity and population projections.

    This workshop is being delivered by the Actuarial Research Centre’s (ARC) ‘Big Health and Actuarial Data’ Research Programme.

  • Hot Topics in Health and Care: Networking and Drinks

    Staple Inn, 4 High Holborn, London WC1V 6DR
    4 November 2019

    Spaces available

    This evening will feature two new cases studies that highlight the implications for insurers of issues impacting on health and mortality for life, pensions, and health and care products; Impactability modelling: a worked example in Type II diabetes presented by Josephine Robertson, and Seasonal Mortality in England and Wales 1993-2016 presented by Mary Hall, Dublin City University.

  • Autumn Pension Seminar

    Grand Connaught Rooms, 61-65 Great Queen St, Holborn, London WC2B 5DA
    13 November 2019

    Spaces available

    Join us for this brand new seminar that brings together our Current Issues in Pensions, Pensions and the Law, and Investment for Pension Actuaries events. The seminar builds on the IFoA’s Annual Pension Conference with sessions covering CDC, TPR’s code of practice, investments, legal updates and Professional Skills Training with a focus on interactive discussion throughout.

    • KSS event: How is Scotland’s population changing and what are the implications?

      Barnett Waddingham, 163 West George Street, Glasgow, G2 2JJ
      14 November 2019

      Spaces available

      The National Records of Scotland (NRS) collects, preserves and produces information about Scotland's people and history to inform current and future generations - work that underpins the fabric of Scottish society and tells the story of our nation. This KSS talk will explore the following and other areas impacting Scotland’s changing population, and assess the potential implications of the changes:

      • population statistics
      • life expectancy
      • changes in age structure
      • birth and death rates, including causes of death statistics.
    • 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

      Fully booked.

      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.

    • Autumn Lecture 2019: Live Streaming

      2 December 2019

      Spaces available

      Watch the live stream of this year's Autumn Lecture with guest speaker Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP. 

    • Behavioural Finance Research Launch- 14 January 2020

      Staple Inn, 4 High Holborn, Holborn, London WC1V 6DR
      14 January 2020

      Spaces available

      We are delighted to announce the launch of the findings from our ARC funded Behavioural Finance research with a special evening event at Staple Inn on Tuesday14th January 2020. Entitled Behavioural Aspects of Institutional Investment Decision-Making, this research programme is being delivered by City, University of London, Leeds University Business School and Ipsos.