September 2023 Amplified – Sudafed, Gut Checks, Wearables and Labor Versus Capital


Michael Waitze worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo.  Michael lived and worked in Tokyo from February 1990 until December 2011.  Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth. Michael is a leader in the digital media space, building one of the biggest and fastest-growing podcast listener bases in the region.  His show has listeners in more than 130 countries and his company, Michael Waitze Media produces some of Asia’s most popular podcasts.

Theresa Blissing is a seasoned insurance professional with a strong background in operational roles with insurers, innovation consulting and academic research and the author of the #1 best-selling book The Future of Insurance, Volume IV. Asia Rising. She started her insurance career in 2004 when she joined Italian insurer Generali in Frankfurt, Germany. In 2015, fascinated by the potential of new technologies and their impact on the insurance industry, she decided to delve into a new challenge and pursue a master's program with a research component, focusing her study on the adoption of big data in the Southeast Asian insurance industry. During that time, Theresa also transitioned her career to management consulting. She worked with a range of consulting firms and started her own consulting and research practice, Accelerating Insurance. In 2019, Theresa co-founded the Asia InsurTech Podcast to bring Asia’s insurance success stories to a global audience. Currently based in New York, Theresa continues to push the boundaries of insurance innovation and has launched a new global podcast – InsurTech Amplified.

David Gritz

David Gritz is an InsurTech community leader, public speaker, and InsurTech advisor. He has been featured in recognized Insurance media including Carrier Management, Digital Insurance, IIR, AM Best TV, and the Re/Image Podcast. David is the co-founder of InsurTech NY, the largest InsurTech community in the NY metro area. David also serves as a strategic advisor to high-growth InsurTechs to help them go from concept to scale. Previously David has served as the Director of Innovation for the Silicon Valley Insurance Accelerator (SVIA) and has led product at Zero, a behavioral safety focused InsurTech acquired by EverestRe. He holds a J.D. from the Mitchell Hamline School of Law and business and industrial engineering degrees from Lehigh University.

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In the latest episode of “This Month, Amplified”, host Michael Waitze together with David Gritz, and Theresa Blissing dived deep into two pivotal discussions – the recall of the over-the-counter medication Sudafed and its broader implications for the insurance industry, and the significant role of labor unions in modern society.

Starting with the Sudafed topic, the trio highlighted the inefficacy of the medication and opened the door to debate the responsibilities of insurers in promoting comprehensive health advice, emphasizing the potential of alternative remedies. Theresa underscored the need for insurers to delve deeper, suggesting they tap into scientific research like the study of microbiomes to offer tailored health advice, while David highlighted the importance of nutrition and a holistic approach to health, referencing the book “Gut” by Julia Ender.

Michael probed the intricate relationship between insurance and pharma companies, questioning the prevailing models and the genuine incentives to promote healthier lifestyle choices. David pointed out the challenges with the current cost-plus model in the U.S health insurance landscape, highlighting the absence of incentives for endorsing non-traditional, perhaps healthier alternatives. The privacy conundrum was not ignored, with both Michael and Theresa discussing the willingness, or lack thereof, of individuals to share health data with insurance companies.

Shifting gears to labor unions, the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike took center stage. David elaborated on its potential ripple effects on the auto industry and insurance premiums. The discourse concluded with Michael reflecting on the changing dynamics and relevance of labor unions in today’s rapidly evolving world.

To encapsulate, the episode provided a thought-provoking exploration into the realms of healthcare and labor unions. It emphasized the evolving responsibilities of insurance providers and the contemporary challenges faced by labor unions. The insights provided spotlighted the interconnectedness of industries and the necessity for a more holistic approach to health and labor in today’s technologically driven world.

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