Digital transformation is the latest trend in healthcare as people have started leveraging digital assets to ensure better care management and delivery. Digitization in healthcare is the process of adopting digital technologies in all aspects of healthcare – payment operations, provider operations, member interactions, etc. It improves business agility and leads to cultural change, improves operational excellence and patient experience, and reduces costs.
goal of digitization
Driven by the urgent need for value-based care, the Indian healthcare system has seen phenomenal shift towards digital transformation. The digital transformation aims to have an enormous positive impact on the health and quality of life of patients. This digital wave of change is not only limited to the care management and supply system, but also to the insurtech ecosystem. How quickly this change can be accomplished depends on the attitude, willingness to adapt and learn of the providers. Today, only about 2 percent of hospitals in India have a structured, digitized health and care system. Indian doctors are by and large unprepared for a major change in the way they work.
For example, many hospitals do not keep updated records of service delivery. This is one aspect where digitization can bring about changes. Hospitals like the one in Manipal or Apollo are pioneers in Indian healthcare. If leaders take charge of this transformation, it would make a huge difference.
Despite the above barriers to digitization in the healthcare and insurtech space, there has been a rise in mobile applications that are convenient for users. But despite the flood of apps, only a few have been really successful. This is because the consumers or patients are very reactive and have not really been able to take advantage of these apps.
Understanding the patient is a must
The best way to make health apps successful is through thorough analysis and survey of the customer or patient, offering services at a reasonable cost, which is also sustainable. For insurance companies, there are basically two ways to acquire customers – one is through agents (based on a commission) and the other is when the customer contacts the insurance company directly through a website or mobile application. So, the more channels insurance companies open for customers, the higher the coverage and revenue. That is why digitization is a must in the Indian healthcare system, because then more patients will be insured.
Increase market reach
In the insurtech ecosystem, business is based on how much market access a company has. In order to increase market share, it is important to fully understand the customer/patient. To further expand their reach, companies should focus on digitization and expand value-added services that collect more information on the market.
For Insurtech, the premium paid by the customer is never uniform – it depends on age, with older people being at higher risk. It is also a necessity for the elderly to have insurance, and the many rules of insurance companies can discourage the youth from choosing policies, making insurance unpopular.
Obstacles for insurance companies
At the time of purchasing an insurance policy, most people are struggling with existing health problems, fearing that the premium will be higher.
If a patient has two or more health problems, they are considered a “complex” patient. Such cases automatically fall under the purview of the disease management program. Therefore, it is imperative that insurtech companies are able to identify such “complex” patients. With a more robust review management team investigating claims and payouts, they would definitely get more back from payouts as well.
Most healthcare and insurtech companies in India would do better with more structure, which can be further enhanced by digitalization as they offer care management and care services. This will also help mitigate issues related to fraud, waste and abuse of India’s healthcare system and insurance policies. Litigation when it comes to fraudulent claims burns a hole in the pocket and can be avoided if the system is technically supported.
There is a concrete need for action to solve problems at various levels of the Indian health and insurance system. A digitized support system not only reduces errors, but also improves decision-making at all levels. A national health policy that provides guidelines for digitization is the absolute need of the hour. India’s dream of full digitization should not increase patient costs; A system that understands this will help realize the country’s dream of becoming a force to be reckoned with.
The views expressed above are the author’s own.
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