Rethinking insurance: How patient journeys can be digitized
From cost reimbursers to holistic healthcare providers – something that sounds like an unattainable benchmark for many insurers could become reality with a shift towards digitized processes. The pandemic has shown us what is possible online: Digital services were extended out of necessity, customers value the offering and no longer want to go without it.
Competitive advantages through digital offers
Insurance companies can seize the opportunity and at the same time demonstrate resilience in the face of crisis by expanding their digital portfolio and providing a wide range of services. In doing so, chatbots or conversational UIs are by no means intended to replace highly qualified staff. Rather, it is about expanding the scope of action and improving the customer experience. Because in the end, insurance companies and policyholders benefit both.
The results of a survey conducted by the management consultancy Ernst & Young (EY) of Austria’s largest insurers show that the trend towards digitalization has not yet reached its peak. As many as 73% of the insurance companies questioned stated that they were well aware of the challenge and that they would be unable to maintain their current market share in the next few years unless comprehensive digitization measures were implemented.
The greatest potential for more than half of the insurance companies interviewed is seen in the area of business process automation, closely followed by digital innovations in customer-oriented domains. The survey also shows that those insurance companies that invested in IT modernization early on are now already in a strong position to implement more innovative and customer-oriented products and will thus gain additional competitive advantage.
But in reality, most health insurances still mainly cover non-digital services as reimbursers. A study by MÜCKE ROTH & COMPANY on the range of digital services offered by private health insurers in Germany illustrates that they are far away from being holistic healthcare providers: About one-third of the service areas analyzed are covered by around 50% of the insurers. While administrative services, billing apps, or online booking of appointments are already well-established areas, there is still room for improvement in categories such as screening, diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring. Symptom checkers and similar applications were not even in use at the time of the survey.
Making profitable use of new opportunities
It is clear that efficient processes save costs and time while simplifying the insurance business. Existing traditional offerings combined with innovative, digital services bring a considerable advantage over competitors. An effective way to stay ahead of the competition is through technological partnerships. The unique insights generated by this can bring great advantages for future business ideas, open up entirely new opportunities, and reach additional target groups. The EY survey shows that innovative start-ups provide a valuable niche offering and are readily sought as strategic partners.
Looking at the relationship with the insurance company from the patient’s point of view, it becomes apparent that it is usually aimed at the purpose of cost reimbursement. Expanding the digital portfolio can change that. Rethinking the relationship with the customer and transforming it into positive emotions increases customer satisfaction. According to the World InsurTech Report 2020, as many as 94% of insurers consider a “superior customer experience” to be of central importance. Having a comprehensive online portfolio contributes toward viewing the insurance company as a reliable partner and strengthening the customer relationship. On top of that, their clients live healthier lives when they have more control over processes and are empowered to manage their own health.
Meeting the users’ lifestyles
XUND's technology provides insurers a scalable way to expand their digital portfolio and turn into holistic healthcare providers. Insurance companies can leverage the Medical API of XUND to provide a better service, attract and retain customers, and more. By integrating the medically certified technology they can channel their customers toward the right point of care which results in overall cost reduction.
A real-world example illustrates how valuable a digital health assistant can be in the everyday life of a customer: Let’s assume that shortly after getting up, a young mother discovers red spots on her child. She asks herself: What is this? Could it be infectious? Does my child have to stay at home or do we need to see a doctor? With a customer-centric product, insurance companies utilizing the technology of XUND can provide help quickly and easily. An evidence-based assessment based on scientific publications supports the mother in making an informed decision on the health of her child.
The underlying decision-making algorithms are the result of more than three years of research and development and are based on more than 2 million medical publications at this time, all of which can be processed automatically using artificial intelligence (AI). Our team of doctors further verifies this data qualitatively using reference literature and experience from many years of practice.
Through our symptom and risk assessment technology, we can transform unstructured data collected from patient interactions into actionable insights. These insights are vital for customer-oriented products and can equip health insurers in the best possible way for the upcoming challenges of the digital age so they can build their own digital ecosystem of healthcare solutions.