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Contactless Solutions in Insurance

3 minutes, 53 seconds read

Last decade was benchmark for contactless technology, which was mainly confined to payments. In 2014, with the launch of ApplePay followed by Android Pay and Samsung Pay, digital wallets played an important role in raising the bar for digital payment experiences. Another remarkable breakthrough in the contactless payments can be attributed to NFC-only debit cards introduced in 2016 by Erste Group Bank AG.

Now (the 2020s), we’re about to witness another disruption in contactless digital experiences, which will cover many different business spheres including insurance. 

However, prolonged lockdowns and the need for social distancing amidst the COVID crisis has shifted consumer preference towards digital. Consumers are now ready to adopt digital technologies — appreciating the contactless approach by Insurers.

Today’s consumers expect personalization, convenience, and greater levels of customer service satisfaction regardless of insurers, assets, and geography. Soon, we may resume socializing, but there sure will be a change in the way we interact with our environment. 

This article highlights the emerging contactless solutions in Insurance.

Claims Inspection

Going by the traditional physical inspection way, even a simple motor claim may take 5-7 working days. For instance, after a customer has intimated the insurer about the accident, the Insurer would assign a surveyor to assess the extent of damage/loss and authenticate the incident. 

This process is not only time consuming, but also requires the surveyor to visit the location, assess the damage, and process documents. 

Self-service claims portals can help customers register, inspect, and settle their motor insurance claims in a comparatively shorter time. It also eliminates field-visits for the surveyor.

The technology that is creating an impact here is Machine Vision. It can analyze damaged parts and the severity of damage through the photographs submitted by the customers. 

Trillium Mutual Insurance, Bajaj Allianz are already using contactless claims solutions for their policyholders.

[Also read: How Machine Vision can Revolutionize Motor Insurance]

Policy Distribution

Agents have been a predominant channel for insurance distribution for decades. In 2019, the new-age tech-savvy customers posed a threat to traditional agent-based selling in Insurance. The current COVID crisis has confused businesses as to which channel to opt. The elder generation, who preferred face-to-face communication while buying a policy, planning investment, etc. are reluctant to meet people. 

In this situation, multilingual/vernacular chatbots can handle pre and post-sales queries; thus, eliminating the need for agents/RMs to meet clients and prospects physically. 

Chatbots equipped with language processing capability can be a great contactless solution for policy distribution. They can eliminate human interaction in areas such as First Notice of Loss (FNOL) and customer support.

“The new normal is when people learn how to do contactless selling. Covid-19 has brought a change in universal behavior..everybody realizes the need for social distancing, the need to go digital and this is where people are more amenable to being sold to digital. Insurers who accomplish contactless sales today are the ones who will be able to make a difference going forward.”

K V Dipu, President — Operations, Communities & Customer Experience, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance

[Also read: ‘Digital’ Insurance Broker: The case for a digital brokerage]

Another aspect of this case is equipping agents with technical knowledge and they can help clients/prospects on “how to” situations through video chats.

API Integration

In the API-based business model, apart from traditional distribution channels, 3rd party apps allow customers to buy/renew insurance policies. 

Digital wallets like PayTM and PhonePe (in India) have updated their interface to allow essential payments to the fore including insurance premiums. The API-based approach in Insurance is gaining momentum as it allows contactless payments and adds convenience for the user.

[Also read: Four New Consumer-centric Business Models in Insurance]

Contactless Solutions: Field Survey using Drones

Drones carry the ability to extract accurate field information, which can fuel real-time analytics using artificial intelligence and machine learning. MarketsandMarkets estimates the Indian drone software market to reach $12.33 billion by 2022. Drones can fulfill two strategic objectives for Insurers:

  1. Risk management: through efficient field data collection, analysis, and actionable insights 
  2. Operational costs management: through effective claims adjudication, claims processing, and customer experience.

The Future

Gradually, the world will move towards a contactless ecosystem. Most of the processes will be automated and wearables and mobile devices will dominate business-to-customer interactions. 

Automotive business, which totally relied on the dealership and offline sales has adapted itself to operate online amidst this crisis. Companies like BMW, Hyundai, Volvo, and Peugeot have already introduced contactless online sales globally.

The point is — people are giving a thought to buying an expensive asset without physically examining it. Digital channels are giving almost similar experiences as physical channels to both consumers and businesses.

In the Insurance landscape, people are open to buying policies online, and at the same time, Insurers are ready to rely on technology for claims investigation, underwriting, and fraud detection. 


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How to increase patient engagement on a healthcare app?

By :
4 minutes, 9 seconds read

Patient facing mobile apps have emerged as a viable alternative to interact with patients and help them execute several tasks related to healthcare without reaching the hospital. Patients are now increasingly glued to these healthcare apps and their time spent on mobile devices has increased significantly. From communication and information to executing business through mobile apps have become a common thing.

Still, there is a lot of gap in the healthcare market. Marketers are struggling to gauge the true value of mobile apps for the bottom line of healthcare organizations. Especially in terms of the value of the app viz-viz the efforts, cost, and time it would take to become a useful and engaging healthcare app for the patient.

To help you increase the patient engagement on a healthcare app, here are a few crucial ways that you need to know. It will not only increase the engagement but will also help you meet your organizational goals at a faster pace.

1. Reduce Readmissions

Healthcare provider’s biggest pain point these days is to avoid readmission of preventable cases. It is crucial for healthcare organizations to reduce this number to enhance patient outcome and improve their revenue growth. Customized healthcare applications can assist hospitals in reducing the number of readmissions.

Here is how:

  • Offer personalized post-release information and instructions
  • Reminder for regular follow-up visits
  • Enforce stricter adherence to post-release prescription and regiment
  • Easier access to healthcare resources and information
  • Lesser cost and time of reaching out
  • Greater engagement to reduce readmission rates

2. Encourage Patients to Proactively Manage Their Health

Encouraging the patient to become proactive in managing their own health can help in improving the outcome and also enhance the reputation of your hospital. With easier access to the required resources and tools, patients are more likely to stay in touch with healthcare professionals and practice the wellness regimen. A properly optimized mobile app can deliver a better wellness experience to the patient and a greater sense of satisfaction.

Here is how an app can help the patient in managing their health proactively:

  • Keeps the patient informed and connected with relevant services
  • Encourages regular health tracking
  • Helps in developing healthy habits and exercises
  • Promotion of health education by streaming informations

3. Improve Trust and Build Relationships

Establishing trust between the patient and doctor is one of the difficult things that hospitals face. Due to long wait times, complex processes, or lack of communication between healthcare team; patients are not willing to attend healthcare appointments.

However, when you give all the relevant tools and information in the smartphone of the patient and empower them, the trust develops between the two parties and the patient proactively takes charge of their treatment. Hospitals can also gain competitive advantage by streamlining patient referrals and building stronger relationships with physicians.

Here is how apps can help:

  • You can provide access to a larger pool of specialists 
  • Help in easily accessing credentials, studies, and information from the mobile app
  • Recommend, network, and connect
  • Improve efficiency and workflow

4. Boost Brand Image and Reputation

Today patients can not be treated less than consumers. Hospitals are competing with each other to provide better care facilities and infrastructure at affordable prices. Hence, it has become crucial to achieve patient satisfaction and engagement. Through mobile apps, hospitals can make the existing information easily accessible along with brand awareness features including social media, photo galleries, virtual tours, and more.

Here is how mobile app can help:

  • Easier access to communication and information
  • Intuitive presentation of the hospital through immersive galleries
  • Stream ER wait time and other relevant information
  • Greater social media engagement

What more factors can increase engagement?

Several patients come to healthcare app once and then dump them after a few logins. One of the major reasons for such low engagement rates is that either the app is difficult to navigate or it is not immersive for the patient.

Consider these few points to make your app more engaging:

  • Customize the app as per the patient group. An app can appear differently to a child and an old age person. Develop an app that is easy to use for all users. Sit with your QA engineers to validate the functionality of your application thoroughly.
  • Build an app that is scalable and can be evolved over a period of time. Leave the possibility of enhancements and customizations that you would need in the future to keep the application viable.
  • It is a no brainer to give multiple options to your patients. Develop a cross-platform application that is compatible with both iOS and Android platforms and offers a rich user experience.

Wrapping Up

With the COVID-19 pandemic, people are more worried about visiting hospitals. Social distancing has become the norm and patients are more inclined towards telemedicine for their treatment. In such a tricky situation, it has become more crucial for hospitals to provide a robust, secure, and engaging mobile app to patients to interact with doctors, access information, and stay connected with the healthcare system.

About the Author

Erna Clayton is a techie with over 12 years of experience in several technological domains including quality assurance and software testing. In her free time, she loves travelling and writing on technology.

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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