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What can APAC insurers learn from each other in an After-COVID World

The Pandemic has forced Insurance carriers, both legacy and new, to adapt their business models, re-evaluate risk modelling and pricing strategies and conceive fresh ways to interact/engage with prospective buyers. Especially within the APAC region, there are many businesses that have adapted to the new business normal successfully and carved out specialised tactics to thrive. 

In this blog we will take a look at some instances that reflect these changes and the measures taken by Insurers that will provide insights for other carriers. But before hopping into those points, let’s have a look at few trends which are worth mentioning:

Changing Trends To Be Considered for a Longer-Term

  1. More Consumer-Centric Solutions:

Most APAC insurance companies use a one-size-fits-all approach; wherein, offering similar packages or products to a broader audience. But that is not the case anymore. In times like this, customers are picky and have become more aware than ever and expect solutions customized for their requirements. 

Therefore, to meet their expectations, many APAC insurers started offering tailor-made policies that meet individual requirements. This is one of the trends that we will see going forward on a longer-term.

  1. Enhanced Claim Settling:

Along with companies focusing on providing customer-centric solutions, they’ve also been focusing on enhanced claim settlement mechanisms. This will aid customers to get financial backup under challenging times.

Now, claims can be raised faster, and policyholders can simply upload the documents required. Insurers can use this to increase their efficiency and settle claims faster and with more efficiency.

  1. Digital Operations:

Since the government has alerted people to follow the guidelines and maintain social distancing, people were rarely stepping out. And this gave rise to more online transactions and deals made online. An increasing amount of people are buying things online, and that goes for insurance as well. 

More number of APAC Insurers started offering insurance online and made other processes feasible online as well. This empowers policyholders to make their payments online and upload their documents from their own homes’ safety and comfort.

Essential Learning for APAC Insurers to Adapt Quality Change

The unappreciated effects of the pandemic have shaken the whole economy and businesses on a large scale. Indeed, all the business models have experienced its effects, but for some, it went positive, and for others, it was negative. 

However, the insurance sector stands in the middle of the ground. Under this umbrella, businesses have used various tactics to cope with the negative aspects and paved their way from surviving to thriving.

To win more customers in the post-covid world, a proper action plan is required. The following points are what successful APAC Insurers are up to; you can use them as inspiration to power-pack your business for post-covid scenarios. 

  1. Telemedicine in Health Plans

Telemedicine is the distribution of clinical and health-related services remotely in real-time two-way communication. This concept had just begun to grow in India but COVID catalyzed the process as the nation went under lockdown and social distancing became the norm.

Since telemedicine became widely popular in the post-COVID world, the IRDAI instructed insurance companies to cover the medical costs incurred on telemedicine as well if their health plans offer coverage for doctor’s consultations. Therefore, health plans are now more inclusive in the Post-Covid world as they cover telemedicine costs too.

APAC insurers can adapt to this concept as it will power-pack their health plans even more. 

  1. Replacing Physical Signatures

Because of social distancing norms, many insurance industries have adopted the elimination of physical signatures on proposal forms. This can be acquired by APAC insurers for the long term. 

Now, individuals are liberated to purchase insurance plans with online proposals which are verified by the confirmation mails or OTPs rather than physical signatures of policyholders. This also saves individuals to travel to the workplace and save a lot of time. 

  1. Implementing Virtualised Outreach

Being the new normal, remote working has made us comfortable with having virtual meetups and conferences. Many companies in Asia-Pacific have adopted this method in outreaching and having a potential conversation with new customers. It enables them to get their work done by sitting in their comfort zones. This is a good adaptation in the long run and saves customers from traveling to a location. 

Therefore, make sure you are active in this digital world to remain visible to your clients. Utilize various ways to keep them warm. It may be email newsletters, videos, social media, and even interactive webinars so that your business remains at the forefront of your clients’ minds.

  1. Adoption of AI-driven systems

Acquiring the power of AI is not a business decision anymore, it has become a survival strategy. And Covid-19 has helped more APAC insurers to understand this. Therefore, the insurance industry is undergoing a swift and tremendous transformation, driven by the burning need to improve customer experience and smooth interaction.

AI can majorly help APAC insurers in the following ways:

  • Managing risk easily and efficiently with the help of neural networks. It can detect red flag fraud patterns and minimize fraudulent claims
  • Makes the agent-customer interaction better and smooth 
  • It helps in making the claim process easy and fast by eliminating the manual efforts from document processing to fraud flagging. 
  • Liberates APAC insurers with 24/7 customer service. 
  • AI can help insurance companies in determining business-critical aspects appropriately such as the maximum possible loss, probability, and pricing more.
  • Efficiently recommends the most beneficial products to their customers based on previous behaviors.

Wrapping Up

These lessons have been gathered through analysing and studying the business impact of responding to economic, political, and public health crises in the region and the global insurance industry at large. Coping up with the pandemic is a significant achievement in itself. But to grow sustainably through a Global crisis takes significant planning, effort and resources to quell the tide. APAC carriers will have to adopt fast, be nimble and navigate swifty for the uncertain road ahead in an After-COVID World. 

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Enhancing digital patient experience with healthcare chatbots

5 minutes read

Chatbots are fast emerging at the forefront of user engagement across industries. In 2021, healthcare is undoubtedly being touted as one of the most important industries due to the noticeable surge in demand amid the pandemic and its subsequent waves. The Global Healthcare Chatbots Market is expected to exceed over US$ 314.63 Million by 2024 at a CAGR of 20.58%.

Chatbots are being seen as those with high potential to revolutionize healthcare. They act as the perfect support system to agents on the floor by providing the first-step resolution to the customer, in terms of understanding intent and need, boost efficiency, and also improve the accuracy of symptom detection and ailment identification, preventive care, feedback procedures, claim filing and processing and more.

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital tools in healthcare, most commonly chatbots, rose to the forefront of healthcare solutions. Providence St. Joseph Health, Mass General Brigham, Care Health Insurance (formerly Religare), and several other notable names built and rolled out artificial intelligence-based chatbots to help with diagnostics at the first stage before a human-human virtual contact, especially while differentiating between possible COVID-19 cases and other ailments. The CDC also hosts an AI-driven chatbot on its website to help screen for coronavirus infections. Similarly, the World Health Organization (WHO) partnered with a messaging app named Ratuken Viber, to develop an interactive chatbot for accurate information about COVID-19 in multiple languages. This allowed WHO to reach up to 1 billion people located anywhere in the world, at any time of the day, in their respective native languages.

For Care Health Insurance, Mantra Labs deployed their Conversational AI Chatbot with AR-based virtual support, called Hitee, trained to converse in multiple languages. This led to 10X interactions over the previous basic chatbot; 5X more conversions through Vanilla Web Experience; Drop-in Customer Queries over Voice Support by 20% among other benefits.

Artificial Intelligence’s role in the healthcare industry has been growing strength by strength over the years. According to the global tech market advisory firm ABI Research, AI spending in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries is expected to increase from $463 million in 2019 to more than $2 billion over the next 5 years, healthtechmagazine.net has reported. 

Speaking of key features available on a healthcare chatbot, Anonymity; Monitoring; Personalization; collecting Physical vitals (including oxygenation, heart rhythm, body temperature) via mobile sensors; monitoring patient behavior via facial recognition; Real-time interaction; and Scalability, feature top of the list. 

However, while covering the wide gamut of a healthcare bot’s capabilities, it is trained on the following factors to come in handy on a business or human-need basis. Read on: 

Remote, Virtual Consults 

Chatbots were seen surging exponentially in the year 2016, however, the year 2020 and onwards brought back the possibility of adding on to healthcare bot capabilities as people continued to stay home amid the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. Chatbots work as the frontline customer support for Quick Symptom Assessment where the intent is understood and a patient’s queries are answered, including connection with an agent for follow-up service, Booking an Appointment with doctors, and more. 

Mental Health Therapy

Even though anxiety, depression, and other mental health-related disorders and their subsequent awareness have been the talk around the world, even before the pandemic hit, the pandemic year, once again could be attributed to increased use of bots to seek support or a conversation to work through their anxiety and more amid trying times. The popular apps, Woebot and Wysa, both gained popularity and recognition during the previous months as a go-to Wellness Advisor. 

An AI Wellness Advisor can also take the form of a chatbot that sends regular reminders on meal and water consumption timings, nutrition charts including requisite consultation with nutritionists, lifestyle advice, and more. 

Patient Health Monitoring via wearables 

Wearable technologies like wearable heart monitors, Bluetooth-enabled scales, glucose monitors, skin patches, shoes, belts, or maternity care trackers promise to redefine assessment of health behaviors in a non-invasive manner and helps acquire, transmit, process, and store patient data, thereby making it a breeze for clinicians to retrieve it as and when they need it.

Remote patient monitoring devices also enable patients to share updates on their vitals and their environment from the convenience and comfort of home, a feature that’s gained higher popularity amid the pandemic.

A healthcare chatbot for healthcare has the capability to check existing insurance coverage, help file claims and track the status of claims. 

What’s in store for the future of chatbots in Healthcare? 

The three main areas where healthcare chatbots can be particularly useful include timely health diagnostics, patient engagement outside medical facilities, and mental health care. 

According to Gartner, conversational AI will supersede cloud and mobile as the most important imperative for the next ten years. 

“For AI to succeed in healthcare over the long-term, consumer comfort and confidence should be front and center. Leveraging AI behind the scenes or in supporting roles could collectively ease us into understanding its value without risking alienation,” reads a May 2021 Forbes article titled, The Doctor Is In: Three Predictions For The Future Of AI In Healthcare. 

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