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What will be the state of the healthcare industry post pandemic?

4 minutes, 9 seconds read

The COVID-19 has proven to be havoc in this tech-savvy world. The community of Healthcare and Development has become the epicentre of the World’s attention for the motives of fighting against the disease; providing social services in this pandemic situation and promoting humanity and livelihood above all. 

However, on the flip side of the coin, we are witnessing challenges like never before. With the outbreak of this catastrophic pandemic, medical accessibility and safety have become our primary concern, bringing about a paradigm change in the state of the healthcare industry throughout the world.

As goes the old adage, “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”; the healthcare sector, post COVID-19 pandemic; is about to undergo metamorphosis with a plethora of new ideas. Getting accustomed to the lockdown phase, people are more and more acquainted with the use of technology. From 8 to 80 almost everyone has resorted to the digital platform and shall continue to retain the habit post-pandemic. Like other brick and mortar bodies, a huge part of healthcare shall have to move online, too.

AI-powered customer support

The idea of telecommunication in the field of healthcare will see a sudden spike in usage. The number of telehealth consults has risen exponentially during this pandemic and it will multiply manifolds post COVID-19. During this outbreak, with an increase in queries and lack of live agents, AI-powered customer support can be used as the first line of communication. Unlike old IVR’s, AI-enabled customer support shall understand the patient’s needs and converse with them as a live agent. 

Vozy’s Lili, is a conversational AI platform for healthcare organizations that alleviates pressure caused due to high call volume. Apart from providing customer assistance, it maintains a complete patient flow and helps monitor the health conditions post-treatment.

AI in customer support

Healthcare professionals are also opting for chatbots for checking symptoms to access symptoms, understand the conditions and accordingly suggest remedies or schedule appointments. 

Automation for contactless patient management

While we pull up our socks for a strategic battle, we can promote our major workforce and healthcare by optimizing and digitizing it, sans promoting widespread of this contagious phenomenon.

Data management of patient’s documents not only consumes a lot of bandwidth of medical staff but might also increase the phobia of the spread of coronavirus through touch, post-pandemic.

“End-user organizations adopt RPA technology as a quick and easy fix to automate manual tasks,” said Cathy Tornbohm, vice president at Gartner.

Healthcare applications, like Practo, can not only automate healthcare data management but also provide expert suggested healthcare tips. It connects with the nearest doctors and helps you choose on the basis of feedback, fees and doctor’s profile. It provides affordable healthcare packages, free healthcare tips and many more.

Automation for contactless patient management - Practo

With the implementation of automation in healthcare, it will not only reduce redundancy time but also provide an unbiased and transparent workflow. 

[Also read – Are wellness and diagnostic apps transforming ‘Patient Experience’]

Remote monitoring

AI in healthcare is going to be the next big revolution. Preserving human life by implementing robotic operations would be the next big step in the medicine industry. Basic hygiene will become the most important factor and the scarcity of equipment which we are facing will alarm us to prepare in an exponential and not in a linear way.

In radiology, medical professionals examine medical images such as an X-Ray, ECG or a radiogram to diagnose the illness and suggest a solution. With telemedicine being very popular in present times, workstations can be created where radiologists worldwide can consult each other. With the help of AI and machine learning, solutions can be suggested to the medical practitioner. 

Neucleus.io is one such web-based work station that provides access to medical images with diagnostic workstation performance. 

Medical Images Management - healthcare industry

Training neural networks with the results of past attempts can rule out the need to test every combination in drug creation. It can also guide the treatment discovery process and help in telemedicine through drug selection.

To maintain social distancing and contactless patient monitoring, Robot doctors of Canada are already performing real-time ultrasound and helping doctors treat patients remotely.  

A different future for the healthcare industry

Post pandemic, more of the typical traditional process requiring human functioning will be replaced by machines, to work more swiftly, providing better results. Thermal sensors will be incorporated in our everyday use gadgets like Mobile phones to allow a thermal scanning process so as to differentiate between normal and ill people on the basis of parameters like body temperature, sweat, facial symptoms, etc. 

Digital transformation will be prevalent everywhere post this catastrophe and machines, technologies and AI will become the tools in reshaping the structure of the healthcare industry. If such a situation knocks our door again, we will be all set to sail through the storm.

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[Interview] Mr. Alex Jimenez | Digital Customer Experience in Covid-19 Times

7 minutes read

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought upon an unprecedented change in our daily lives and routines. Consumer behavior is changing constantly. Lockdowns and social distancing have led to huge losses for businesses across industries. The world is heading towards an economic slowdown. Under these circumstances, organizations are facing many challenges to keep their businesses going. Insurers too are facing similar issues. Some insurance lines such as motor, travel, home have suffered a business loss due to low demand.

To understand the impact of this crisis, especially in the USA, we interviewed Mr. Alex Jiminez, Strategy Officer at Extractable from California, and learned more about creating better digital customer experiences in these testing times. 

Extractable is a strategic consulting, design, and data analytics agency focused on the future of financial services. His other recent experience includes leading technology strategic planning for the office of the CIO, at Zions Bancorporation, and managing Digital Banking and Payments Strategy and Innovation at Rockland Trust. Alex has been named to several industry influencer lists in the areas of FinTech, RegTech, Blockchain, InsurTech, Innovation, and Digital Marketing. He has been featured in the Irish Tech News and the Independent Community Bankers of America’s (ICBA) Independent Banker.

Connect with Mr. Alex Jimenez – LinkedIn

The excerpt from the interview:

The impact of COVID-19 pandemic in the financial services industry

What is the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in the financial services industry, and how is the industry responding to the ongoing crisis in the US?

In the wake of the current crisis, organizations are more focused on keeping the operation going, trying to set-up work stations for remote working, dealing with customers and working with them over digital platforms. But very few are focusing on the future which is preparing for the after-effects of this pandemic on the economy. 

In-person communication is still an important mode of interaction with customers in the US banking sector. But now the issue is how to provide good services to clients? Some of our customers are going to experience digital models for the first time. 

Organizations that have well-defined Digital Strategies and Customer-First approach will be able to provide good support to their customers. Organizations that are late into this space are more likely to face problems in the future.

[Related: The Impact of Covid-19 on the Global Economy and Insurance]

Changing customer preferences

How can companies reach out to their customers in this New Normal world?

We have already started to move towards a digital-centric world which is just going to accelerate. We will see businesses who have earlier ignored their digital capabilities will now build more on them. 

The first video call was invented in the 60s and was not so appreciated as everybody thought it was expensive and complicated. Today we have FaceTime, Zoom but adoption has not happened on a larger scale. But this will soon accelerate. Customers will be comfortable dialing into a video chat with their Insurance agent. 

I don’t believe there’ll be a New Normal. For example, in the US after 9/11 people thought that life will never get back to normal but except for rigorous security screening at the airports, there hasn’t been much change in the behavior. 

In Israel, amidst all the constant disturbance, people in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are living normal lives. There’ll certainly be some specific changes post the pandemic such as more adoption of digital technologies, more focus on customer needs but I believe there won’t be an entirely new world with a drastic change in consumer behavior.  

The need for personalization

What are some Attention hacking lessons for Insurers operating in ‘the New Normal’?

We are moving towards the personalization of products in general. Generally in Life Insurance, we insure people based on their date of birth or medical history. But what if we insure people based on their behavior? If we did that, would people change their more risky behavior to get a better rate? A non-smoker can be given a better rate as opposed to a smoker. If we get down to individuality, saying that this is your individual (your own) rate; it makes a difference. 

There is a lot of data available and AI is needed to mine that data and derive analytics. Just by building a relationship with customers, we are not doing a great job with personalization. It’s important to apply a human touch to the communication which makes customers feel like you know them. Thus, retaining their attention.

Digital customer experience in Insurance

For the insurance industry, what steps can help in delivering the right digital customer experience in terms of UX and visual design?

A lot of organizations practice Design Thinking but Financial Services don’t. They are of the opinion that they know what is needed as they themselves are customers and they have data from the surveys. But that’s a wrong approach. Design Thinking is about empathy. It is important to get into the shoes of your clients to design better solutions.

To enhance digital customer experience, Insurers need a thorough understanding of users — who are the ultimate clients, their needs, what they expect from this experience, etc. After comprehending how they engage with technology and financial services, start venturing into the solution and test the solutions with actual users.

Innovations in the financial services industry

What technology-based innovations are being explored within the financial services industry? And, do you see AI playing a role in the short term? 

AI has already affected Financial Services in a positive way and will make it better. In insurance, IoT has been very impactful and will continue to be. Some applications have already been applied in reality like sensors in cars to detect speed and ensure that you are under the speed limit. This helps in getting reduced premiums. 

However, some basic processes are still done in the old school way of shuffling papers. Straight though-out processes have not yet happened. Now RPA is being applied to this but it is more like a band-aid. What is more important is how we can build processes through true automation with AI.

[Related: 5 Insurance Front Office Operations AI Can Improve]

Adoption of AI in Insurance

Speaking about more adoption of technologies, do you think there’ll be more investment in AI now?

Absolutely! We have already seen that investment in technologies like AI, cloud computing, quantum computing has been ramping up. Businesses will invest much more in AI than before. It might be for better decision making, underwriting, understanding the behavior of clients, etc. Also, from a marketing standpoint, financial services have never focused much before but will now invest in AI for this area too.

[Related: How is AI extending customer support during COVID-19 pandemic]

In your recent article in Extractable – “Deploying third-party financial service technology to mitigate crisis” you talk about what tech vendors are doing wrong. Please expand on how to encourage resources to be innovative change agents?

There were two points that I made in the article-

First is about what companies are doing incorrectly when it comes to innovation. Risk management is consulted only after developing the product. The product release is stalled until the legal compliances are adhered to. Instead, companies should involve the risk management at the beginning of the process (while defining the problem and solution). Involving risk management at every step of the innovation process will make it much easier to push out innovation.

The second was about vendor management. Many small vendors such as tech vendors, InsurTechs want to sell solutions to financial service companies but are often surprised by the tedious vendor management process. There’s a lot of documentation. Once the first process of selling is done, vendors should package the documentation in a way that when the next prospect asks for it, the due diligence package is ready to offer. 

Read article – Deploying third-party financial service technology to mitigate crisis 

Wrapping up

Alex shared interesting insights on how Design Thinking and Visual Design can create better digital customer experience. The design vertical at Mantra Labs too believes in the same and has designed UX for various applications for its customers. Here’s an article to understand the role of Customer Experience (CX) and User Experience (UX): Creating Amazing Digital Customer Experiences

[Also read: [Interview] Mr. Andrew Warburton | The New Normal in Insurance]

AI is going to be essential for Insurers to gain that competitive edge in the post-pandemic world. Check out Hitee — an Insurance specific chatbot for driving customer engagement. For your specific requirements, please feel free to write to us at hello@mantralabsglobal.com. 

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