Kolkata, November 17: Like every other aspect of our lives, technology is increasingly affecting our financial lives. While financial technology or fintech came early to banking and we could bank online, followed by mobile banking, technology is playing a role in other areas of personal finance as well and health insurance is no exception. We look at 4 ways in which technology is transforming health insurance. This forms a part of what we know as insuretech.
1. Social media: Social media has been around for a while and insurers are finding uses of it in more practical ways. Information of a person’s lifestyle or that of a section of people can be accessed through social media. Social media is also an excellent platform for customer education and customer engagement. It also provides a platform where customer queries and grievances can be addressed real time. Such initiatives help manage the reputation of the brand.
2. Artificial intelligence: The buzzword in technology has found its way into health insurance too. Some of the earliest use of AI is the use of chatbots. These chatbots are essentially computer-based programs who answer customer queries on chat platforms 24X7. This helps insurers to save on costs and also generate new business leads. AI is finding other uses in health insurance too. “Few examples are the use of Artificial Intelligence in underwriting as well as claim processing , where in the technology assist in faster claim processing/ underwriting a proposal, based on pre feeded checklist . This not only reduced the human intervention but also cut down on the time,” says Bisheshwari Singh - Chief Marketing Officer, Universal Sompo General Insurance.
3. Wearable tech: Wearable tech is a smart way insurers are looking to reduce the premiums they charge on their policies. Insurers can get real –time health data of their policy holders from gadgets such as fitness bands. Using these data they can track their physical activities. This helps them to provide personalised insurance products. If a policyholder achieves certain defined health goals that keeps them fit, he can get the benefit of reduced premiums. “Products promoting technology like wearable gadgets, helps the customer to maintain their fitness / track their physical activity as well as help to reduce their health insurance Premiums,” says Singh.
4. Blockchain: When we hear about blockchain, we think of Bitcoins but the concept has far reaching uses in different areas including health insurance. The technology has the potential to offer several advantages to the health insurance industry. It can help hospitals and doctors to access patient data quickly, safely and comprehensively, thus avoiding the need for extra medical tests and time wasted in diagnosis. Patients will have right to their own data and can provide it when required without the help of any external agency. Data, shared on a distributed ledger and can be accessed anytime by different health insurance providers even as the loss of data and documentation would almost be reduced to a nil. This would help bring down costs for the health insurance companies.
“Block chain method helps to pay the claim on real time basis, and thus reduces prestigious time of insured member following the conventional claim process,” says Singh.