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Emerging Healthcare Delivery Models

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5 minutes, 30 seconds read

Wearables, IoT devices, healthcare apps have significantly increased digital health access points for customers. The evolving nature of the digital health industry in India can be witnessed through the improved personalization and value-added services delivered to the consumers. To further multiply the digital health touchpoints, new healthcare delivery models are coming up to cater to specific healthcare needs and deliver a satisfying experience. Below are a few emerging healthcare delivery models: 

1. On-Demand Healthcare

The healthcare industry is beginning to welcome on-demand services for consumers who are already accustomed to receiving services anytime and anywhere from demand-driven brands such as Zomato, Uber, etc. Among the various digital healthcare services, e-pharmacies in India such as Medlife, Pharmeasy, have made a significant profit by making medicines and drugs available to customers in no time.

Quick booking of appointments, receiving digital medical reports, settling medical fees online, scheduling doctor visits, all of this can be done through smartphones. On-demand healthcare is gathering attention among consumers, especially millennials, needing mental health counseling, follow-up appointments, and quick recovery from wounds and minor illnesses. Due to the provision of healthcare anytime and anywhere, reduced expenses due to lessened hospital visits, deep interaction with patients, the on-demand healthcare model is growing. Express Care offered by Cleveland Clinic allows patients to consult virtual doctors in matters of non-life-threatening conditions like allergies, rashes, or back pain.   

This model also allows medical practitioners to work flexibly, depending on their schedule. It also lets the doctors appoint and cancel the dates of visits depending on their availability. For instance, besides being a clinical app for patients, Doctor on Demand has features such as email, payment system, messaging, etc. that help doctors to manage their patients.

2. Social Health Networks or Peer-based health networks

This model allows people and medical professionals to share views and hold discussions on health-related issues. This model also allows the doctors to address people’s health issues without any geographical barrier, motivates people to share their health experiences, and facilitates health literacy. As people belonging to different age groups are well versed and active on social media, social health network serves as an effective solution to encourage people to look after their health and provide emotional support to others. Any platform based on this model can also push people to create awareness through health-related campaigns. 

This model also facilitates maximizing health-related conversations and allows the exchanging of information among patients, medical professionals, and doctors- one-to-many and many-to-many conversations between patients-patients, doctors-patients, doctors-doctors. Even though this model is still at its developing stage, it is sure to gain momentum because people are starting to be upfront about their health problems, especially mental health issues. Organizations following this model can also leverage health data and provide effective health solutions. HealthUnlocked is a social networking service that empowers patients and promotes relevant health-related content. It focuses on building online support groups where patients can give health recommendations and insights to other patients. Medikoe launched We, a social network that publishes health-related content from qualified doctors and allows patients to connect with doctors. It is like any other social media where people can follow health professionals, and search, share, like health-related articles. It also encourages people to take up health challenges and updates people on upcoming health campaigns. 

3. Proactive Intervention

Chronic diseases account for more than 55% of total deaths in India. Increasing awareness and the use of healthcare technologies are prompting people to opt for preventive healthcare services to manage unexpected health issues. Proactive care lessens the chances of health deterioration through active dialogues between doctors and patients. Telemedicine is one such way through which health outcomes can be improved. As it facilitates easier transmission of patient data and increased access to HCPs, it holds the potential to reduce the mortality rate in India. This instant healthcare service provider model also allows remote monitoring of patients as health records can be transmitted in no time. 

As the model is compatible with wearable sensors, medical information such as blood pressure, heart rate, etc. can be monitored easily which helps in the early detection of diseases such as asthma, hypertension, heart-related diseases. Fitness trackers that are compatible with mobile applications help people in monitoring their health data as well. Health Care Originals developed ADAMM, an intelligent asthma monitoring wearable system that is attached to the upper body. It detects symptoms of asthma attacks- body temperature, heartbeat, cough rate, etc. Rubi Life is a MedTech company that uses nanotechnology in an elastic maternity band to monitor fetal activity in high-risk pregnancies. It sends alerts to the mother’s phone in order to prevent premature births, stillbirths, and to also avoid negative outcomes.  

4. Personalised Medicine & genomics

This model aims to improve the effectiveness of medicine by leveraging the patient’s health history, genetic characteristics, and lifestyle. Personalized medicine, also known as precision medicine improves health outcomes without any side effects. The unique genetic composition of patients helps in predicting disease and curing it before it starts affecting the body. This model disrupts the one-size-fits-all model as it takes into consideration the genomic composition and forms a pattern by observing a body’s reaction to drug dosages, thus promising accuracy. 

This model also reduces the trial and error inefficiencies and proves to be beneficial for medical professionals as it can reduce the failure and cost of pharmaceutical trials.  

K&H Personalised Medicine Clinic is the only healthcare facility in Hyderabad, India that provides personalized healthcare based on genomics, DNA analysis, and a patient’s medical history. As the genes are affected by diet, exercise, stress levels, and environmental factors, the K&H clinic takes into consideration all these factors to form a proper treatment strategy.

Conclusion

The emerging healthcare delivery models are aiming for cost-effective solutions that can save time and instantly cater to patient needs digitally. The digital healthcare market is growing at a compound annual growth of 27.41% during 2019-2024, and according to a recent report by McKinsey Global Institute, telemedicine services in India have the potential to replace in-person consultations by 30-40%. This shows that people are appreciating contactless solutions and are used to immediate gratification. While some of the healthcare delivery models are still at their nascent stage in India, some are experiencing good growth. As digital health consumers are starting to demand more, the emerging healthcare models have to make sure that they cater to their diverse needs instantly and efficiently.  Moreover, as healthcare facilities are unevenly distributed, the upcoming healthcare delivery systems should also make sure to maximize their touchpoints in order to reach every corner of the country.

Know about our work in Digital Health and how we have helped clients such as Suraksha Diagnostics, Abbvie, Religare Health Insurance, and SBI Health Insurance build mobile and web applications improving their operational efficiency and customer experience.

Further Readings:

  1. Building Consumer Trust in the Digital Healthcare Era
  2. HealthTech 101: How are Healthcare Technologies Reinventing Patient Care
  3. Virtual health: Delivering care through technology
  4. How Mobile Micro-Health Insurance can unlock ‘Digital for Bharat’?

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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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