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3 Trends shaping the Future of Healthcare in Middle East

3 minutes read

A few years ago, UAE appointed the country’s first Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence. Middle East region has been progressive in the adoption of technology. According to a recent report published by Dealroom and EMERGE GHI, the health-tech startup ecosystem in the MENA region is now worth over $1.5B, a 22x increase since 2016. 

 Health Tech Investment in Middle East

As of now, domestic and international investors have raised $930 million. And this number will continue to go up in the coming years. With so much fund pooling in, tech innovations will continue to drive the healthcare industry. 

Let’s look at the 3 Trends shaping the Future of Healthcare in Middle East: 

  1. Telemedicine dominates when it comes to venture capital investment: Telemedicine has gained the most attention from venture capitalists in the last two years. To increase the market penetration in remote locations, telemedicine service providers have been offering a 360-degree solution to help patients. Essal- a health tech startup in MENA raised $1.7 million as it plans to expand its reach across the Middle East by investing in product development and growing its workforce. The company offers a platform that allows users to connect with consultants and seek answers to their concerns. 
  1. The deployment of AI is gaining speed in the Middle East. AI-aided Super Agents can ‘engage to win’ customers with 63% more success, reveals Mantra Labs’ latest report. Agents empowered by AI can increase productivity and boost sales performance — like the customer’s email, appointment history, or why they last reached out. Health experts are working on AI-based solutions to improve the patient experience and their operational efficiency and productivity. According to PwC, AI’s overall contribution to the public sector in the Gulf region would be $59 billion by 2030, including health and education. The government in the region also announced the National AI Strategy 2031 to bring AI tools and technology to sectors including healthcare. Altib-Middle East’s largest AI-based digital health platform raised $44 million to develop a fully integrated primary care, offering accessible value-based solutions in accordance with Saudi Vision 2030 and Egypt’s Ministry of Health and Population. 
  1. Increasing focus on digital infrastructure in the healthcare sector: According to the EMERGE GHI report, the GCC region had the highest healthcare infrastructure investments, with a major increase in the number of hospitals and beds between 2010 and 2020. Annual investment in healthcare digital infrastructure is likely to grow from $0.5B to $1.2B in the next two years, a 10% to 20% rise compared with the previous years of 3% to 4%. This will create numerous opportunities for startups to invest in digital solutions in the healthcare industry. 

Conclusion: 

The Middle East has become a major interest area for venture capitalists in the last two years. The government in the Gulf region is also investing heavily in technology to improve the patient experience. A $250 million iGan Arabia fund will drive MedTech innovation in MENA region to explore investment opportunities in AI/Cloud-enhanced medical devices and digital health technologies. Investment in CX technology will increase as 74% of organizations in the region plan to invest more than $200,000 in 2022, reveals the latest intelligence report. With such significant investments in the health tech world, digital healthcare innovation will ramp up, providing plenty of opportunities for start-ups to innovate and improve patient experiences.

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Retention playbook for Insurance firms in the backdrop of financial crises

4 minutes read

Belonging to one of the oldest industries in the world, Insurance companies have weathered multiple calamities over the years and have proven themselves to be resilient entities that can truly stand the test of time. Today, however, the industry faces some of its toughest trials yet. Technology has fundamentally changed what it means to be an insurer and the cumulative effects of the pandemic coupled with a weak global economic output have impacted the industry in ways both good and bad.

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Source: Deloitte Services LP Economic Analysis

For instance, the U.S market recorded a sharp dip in GDP in the wake of the pandemic and it was expected that the economy would bounce back bringing with it a resurgent demand for all products (including insurance) across the board. It must be noted that the outlook toward insurance products changed as a result of the pandemic. Life insurance products were no longer an afterthought, although profitability in this segment declined over the years. Property-and-Casualty (P&C) insurance, especially motor insurance, continued to be a strong driver, while health insurance proved to be the fastest-growing segment with robust demand from different geographies

Simultaneously, the insurance industry finds itself on the cusp of an industry-wide shift as technology is starting to play a greater role in core operations. In particular, technologies such as AI, AR, and VR are being deployed extensively to retain customers amidst this technological and economic upheaval.

Double down on digital

For insurance firms, IT budgets were almost exclusively dedicated to maintaining legacy systems, but with the rise of InsurTech, it is imperative that firms start dedicating more of their budgets towards developing advanced capabilities such as predictive analytics, AI-driven offerings, etc. Insurance has long been an industry that makes extensive use of complex statistical and mathematical models to guide pricing and product development strategies. By incorporating the latest technological advances with the rich data they have accumulated over the years, insurance firms are poised to emerge stronger and more competitive than ever.

Using AI to curate a bespoke customer experience

Insurance has always been a low-margin affair and success in the business is primarily a function of selling the right products to the right people and reducing churn as much as possible. This is particularly important as customer retention is normally conceived as an afterthought in most industries, as evidenced in the following chart.

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        Source: econconusltancy.com

AI-powered tools (even with narrow capabilities) can do wonders for the insurance industry at large. When architected in the right manner, they can be used to automate a bulk of the standardized and automated processes that insurance companies have. AI can be used to automate and accelerate claims, assess homeowner policies via drones, and facilitate richer customer experiences through sophisticated chatbots. Such advances have a domino effect of increasing CSAT scores, boosting retention rates, reducing CACs, and ultimately improving profitability by as much as 95%.

Crafting immersive products through AR/VR

Customer retention is largely a function of how good a product is, and how effective it is in solving the customers’ pain points. In the face of increasing commodification, insurance companies that go the extra mile to make the buying process more immersive and engaging can gain a definite edge over competitors.

Globally, companies are flocking to implement AR/VR into their customer engagement strategies as it allows them to better several aspects of the customer journey in one fell swoop. Relationship building, product visualization, and highly personalized products are some of the benefits that AR/VR confers to its wielders.  

By honoring the customer sentiments of today and applying a slick AR/VR-powered veneer over its existing product layer, insurance companies can cater to a younger audience (Gen Z) by educating them about insurance products and tailoring digital delivery experiences. This could pay off in the long run by building a large customer base that could be retained and served for a much longer period.

The way forward

The Insurance industry is undergoing a shift of tectonic proportions as an older generation makes way for a new and younger one that has little to no perceptions about the industry. By investing in next-generation technologies such as AR/VR, firms can build new products to capture this new market and catapult themselves to leadership positions simply by way of keeping up with the times.

We have already seen how AR is a potential game-changer for the insurance industry. It is only a matter of time before it becomes commonplace.

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