Future of health insurance lies in digital solutions


Digital transformation is a recent trend in the healthcare space. The process of introducing digital technologies in all aspects of the healthcare business, which is inclusive of payer operations, provider operations, member interactions, etc, has become more of a cultural change and has enabled improvements in business agility.

Consequently, improving operational excellence and patient experience, and reducing costs.

Driven by the need for value-based care, the healthcare industry is seeing a major shift towards digital transformation.

From mobile apps to software that supports physicians’ clinical opinions, to artificial intelligence and machine learning, it is evidently clear that digital transformation in the healthcare sector is increasing the ability to diagnose and treat, while simultaneously improving the delivery of healthcare to citizens and patients.

The current global healthcare crisis is only reinforcing the need for technology to provide meaningful solutions.

In Kenya, statistics show that as of 2019, aside from life insurance, automotive and health insurance had the highest market penetration at 20.4 percent and 18.6 percent, respectively.

Simultaneously, statistics also show a forecast estimation of the current healthcare spending in Kenya until 2025. It is projected to reach $7,220.42 million by 2025. The spending refers to the current expenditure of both governments and consumers.

The introduction of digital healthcare platforms, for example M-TIBA are used by insurance companies to create transparency and efficiency in the healthcare process.

The platforms help connect customers to healthcare providers and digitalisation helps lower risk and costs by helping make a detailed picture of users’ overall health. Moreover, in the insurance space optimising customer experience and digital tools can secure data dominance.

There are over 1 billion wearable devices active in the market. The biosensors present inside the wearables are getting more sophisticated to become links in the digitalised healthcare system which lays emphasis on home-based treatments.

Through the data collected by the sensors, insurance companies can help warn customers of problem signs before they develop into diseases.

Moreover, when a patient interacts with a healthcare system, they talk to a number of parties, doctors, pharmacists, insurance companies which continuously aids in innovating healthcare technology.

Bringing in distributed ledgers, can enable all the stakeholders to be on the same platform, making interactions and following transactions transparent ly and real-time.

An example of this can be seen in how the patients no longer have to wait for the insurance companies to release payment since the latter is updated depending on the stage of filling in their details on the healthcare system.

One of the key resources in the healthcare economy is data, a resource that places insurers as the central provider of the digitalisation landscape.

A number of insurance companies are making use of data to become active participants in healthcare transformation. The availability of huge amounts of data translates into a new approach to health information.

The digital healthcare ecosystem is an infrastructure that supports the transformation of the organisation’s healthcare model into a patient-centred model.

The main purpose of this system is to deliver multidisciplinary and collaborative health services. For a healthcare insurance company, it means that now is the golden time to enter the space.

The author is the managing director of M-TIBA

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