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Five Trends Shaping the Digital Health Customer Experience

By :
4 minutes, 38 seconds read

The fast growth of the digital health industry in India due to COVID-19 has led to the reshaping of customer health experiences. Innovations like mobile healthcare apps, telehealth services, e-pharma services are witnessing higher adoption rates and transforming the digital health customer experience. 

Lack of awareness regarding the use of mhealth apps, uncertainty about apps’ working efficiency, security issues, etc. were the root cause of its wavering development, prior to the pandemic. During lockdowns, nearly 67% of Indians felt comfortable receiving medical advice over calls and video sessions, according to a Royal Philips survey. 

The healthcare industry has shifted towards a patient-centric model to deliver convenient and meaningful experiences from the patient’s home. Below are the top five trends that are shaping digital health customer experiences:

Customers are relying on mHealth apps

Mobile health apps in India have witnessed an increase in downloads due to changes in lifestyle, increased interest in fitness & wellness programs and to track & monitor a variety of health data — sleep patterns, calorie intake, physical activity, etc. Followed by the telehealth segment, the mHealth segment is expected to dominate the Indian market by reaching approximately USD 1.87 Bn by 2024. 

Mobile health apps in India such as Practo, PharmEasy, 1mg, Medlife, cure.fit etc. allow customers to order healthy food, buy medicines with discounts, receive health tips and attend virtual doctor consultations by staying at home. Even though mHealth apps are general wellness related, the number of condition management apps are likely to increase with customer engagement. Moreover, the growth of the mHealth segment will ensure cost effective healthcare services that will prompt the consumers to use health apps. With the rise of mobile health apps, more benefits are likely to be incorporated such as in the case of health emergencies where an app can send the location of the needy to the hospital, thus saving ambulance drivers’ time in following directions.

Increase in Demand for Personalized Care

Customers have begun to feel empowered and valued through wearable devices and other digital health tools as it is enabling them to take control of their health. With electronic health records in hand, healthcare organizations are leveraging patients’ health records that are helping in optimizing the digital health customer experience. Predicting problems and providing solutions before they bother the patients has become the new model. This has paved the way for hyper personalization. By analyzing an individual’s DNA, it allows HCPs to monitor patients’ medication, provide health tips and helps them to diagnose diseases early. For instance, DNAfit offers genome-personalized health advice, workout plans, etc. that help customers in framing a daily routine. Apple Healthkit also functions in a similar fashion to personalize healthcare services as patient data is collected, compared and mined to result in a customized health experience.

Younger generation has more trust in tech companies

Around 32% of gen X and 43% of millennial are open to receive virtual healthcare, according to an Accenture survey. As the younger generation provides active feedback to the healthcare organizations, examining their behaviour can provide significant insights that might help mending the existing gaps between HCOs and customers. According to a recent Deloitte survey, empathy and reliability are the two factors that customers expect from healthcare providers. This shows that when customers are given the option to own their personal data related to health, healthcare organizations are more likely to attract customers. Considering how consumers are sensitive about their data, data interoperability is likely to help organizations in meeting consumer needs. In addition to this, increase in digital touchpoints are likely to multiply to meet diverse consumer needs.        

Increased Demand for Value-added services

According to an Accenture survey, around 57% of customers are open to remote virtual care. This shows the increasing appreciation of real-time assistance and contactless healthcare. Healthcare providers are likely to produce more value-added services by enhancing patient engagement, data collection, digital health channels. Traditional ways of treatment will change when HCOs leverage patient data from technologies and smart devices. Expert advice of HCPs in developing value-added services will further assist in producing accurate solutions for patients. Consumer demand for value-added services shows the increasing expectations from the digital health industry that will transform the customer experiences, as the leading health organizations are likely to produce more digitally enabled health solutions. Post COVID-19 when people begin to socialize, the contactless health services will be useful in cases of health emergencies, or for old people who find it hard to travel. 

Consumers are open to omnichannel virtual care

Be it buying of medicines, or keeping a regular check on health, the digital health tools such as mHealth apps, fitness trackers, etc have been adopted by consumers to satiate their healthcare needs. Openness to various digital health channels shows the strengthening of consumer trust. Recently Apple launched Apple Watch series 6 that allows users to take on-demand readings of blood oxygen level anytime. Its potential to give readings anytime and anywhere reflects customers’ increase in usage of digital health tools. Apart from tracking steps, fitness trackers also have advanced health features like, heart-rate monitors, SpO2 monitors, sleep tracking, etc. Web apps and chatbots are being used by healthcare organizations to assist people with health-related problems. Digital healthtech company Your.MD uses chatbot and web app to help customers get personalized health information. The future of the digital health industry is likely to witness an enhancement and increase in the number of access points. Increased acceptance of omnichannel will lead to optimization of customer engagement as HCOs will have more resources from where they can leverage patient data. 

To know about how healthcare industry is bringing hospitals to a customer’s doorstep, watch our webinar on Digital Health Beyond COVID-19.

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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