New Technologies in Health Insurance Industry
Technology’s managed to enter our lives in every way possible. Now with new advancements in health care and tracking of one’s health parameters, could health insurance players have been far behind? Along with several wearables focused on fitness and well-being, we now have devices that track blood sugar, abnormal heart rhythm, stress levels etc.
This data is relevant especially to feed algorithms — which is a first step before launching digital health insurance products.
Health insurers across the world are launching several new tech initiatives. The key to face this challenge is to change their existing relationships with customers. By trying to collect more customer data, they hope to better understand the health needs and accordingly increase the level of customised engagement.
To go deeper in prevention, health insurers are now gathering data from many sources (wearables, mobile tracking) and focus on preventing stress & lifestyle related diseases. They also leverage AI to make real-time ECG interpretation and allow doctors to monitor their patients online. This is a combination of prevention, where the technology helps have a healthier behavior, and cost reduction by avoiding unnecessary doctor’s appointments.
For such prediction and prevention of disease, organisations require a huge amount of data to be relevant. The first challenge for insurers here is to make people agree to share their personal data. Customers have to really feel the benefits to allow access to such private data. The next challenge is to secure that data against Cyber attacks. Hence Cybersecurity plays a big role here.
Tech like AI, big data analytics, machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT) technology and blockchain play a big role now. The set of challenges, includes development of high performance and scalable delivery models.
There are health insurers who try to reward a healthier behavior. People may get rewarded with gym lessons, sportswear items, or wearables, etc. Some also offer discount on health insurance policies to those who agree to share their health data. An Indian Health Insurance company recently tied up with Mobikwik to tap into millennials and first-time buyers for bite sized insurance. The company also collaborates with GOQii to track health score of customers, based on which they provide discounts on health insurance premiums.
Instead of a reactive approach, the need is to be proactive and develop algorithms which help in prevention, risk scoring, early detection etc. This in turn helps the huge amount of data be relevant and keeps health insurance payouts at a minimum.
Within the customer service arena also, things have moved much beyond just paperless claims. Teleconsultation or video calls with a doctor using mobile apps, & use of AI to collect symptoms to pre-qualify diseases before any interaction with a real doctor – are required to make the process smoother & quicker for customers. Chat Bots are used to answer queries on claim status and policy copy requests. Self-claim settlement up to a certain monetary limit also helps keep overheads at a minimum.
As one can see, health insurance in India is changing in a big way.