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In an increasingly complex and individualised world of healthcare, the demand for personalised solutions in health insurance is growing. The introduction of customised offers not only has the potential to increase customer satisfaction but also to optimise the entire customer journey. In this blog post, I explore how these individualised approaches are changing the interaction between insurance companies and policyholders and what impact they could have on the future of healthcare.

The key role in health insurance: personalisation through big data and AI

Personalisation in health insurance goes beyond the mere adjustment of insurance benefits. It also includes using big data analysis and artificial intelligence to analyse the individual health data of policyholders and develop preventive health programmes. Through a personalised approach, health insurers can not only better understand the needs of their policyholders, but also proactively contribute to their health. This not only improves communication between insurers and policyholders but also helps to optimise the entire customer journey in health insurance. Ultimately, this leads to higher customer loyalty and satisfaction and better health and well-being for the insured.

Why is personalisation so important?

Personalised offers make it clear to the insured person that their individual needs and concerns are part of the digitalisation strategy. This can create a personal bond between the insurer and the insured person and help health insurers to be perceived not only as cost reimbursers but also as active healthcare partners. They not only want to support their policyholders in the event of illness but also promote preventive measures to improve their health and well-being in the long term. Allianz Private Krankenversicherung is a pioneer in this role. It offers health courses, online coaching and various prevention apps such as Allianz Active4Life and Allianz HealthSteps. This development from payer to player is crucial in order to differentiate itself in an increasingly competitive market and build long-term customer loyalty.

Improving prevention and cost control

Prevention plays a crucial role in health insurance, as it aims to prevent illnesses or recognise them at an early stage to avoid serious health problems. So much for the theory. In practice, preventive measures are still too often given less priority. Prevention often fails due to the short-term view of many insurers. Prevention initially requires investment in programmes, advice and technologies that do not immediately lead to a direct return on investment. This can make insurance companies reluctant to invest in prevention, especially if they are focused on reducing costs and maximising profits in the short term. Insurance companies are often unable to quantify the benefits of prevention and are therefore reluctant to invest in this direction. Studies by the Robert Koch Institute show that in Germany, 80 per cent of cardiovascular diseases and 30 per cent of diabetes could have been avoided through a healthier lifestyle. This shows that prevention can reduce the frequency of expensive treatments and subsequent costs and that insurers should therefore invest in this area from an economic perspective.

The challenge is that insurance companies are often reluctant to invest in prevention because the short-term costs are often not associated with a direct return on investment, even though preventive measures can lead to a reduction in expensive treatments and follow-up costs in the long term.

Insurers face the challenge of understanding the individual needs and preferences of policyholders and responding accordingly. Personalised prevention programmes require a thorough analysis of health data and tailored care. This analysis should not only take into account the insured person's current state of health or medical history but also their lifestyle or social environment. This requires close collaboration between insurers, healthcare experts and technology providers to develop a holistic approach to personalising prevention measures.

As a technology provider with numerous healthcare experts, we offer the right solution to these problems as a Preferred Partner of BSI. By connecting the BSI Customer Suite to the core systems of the health insurance companies, the insurer receives a precise overview of the data in its insurance portfolio.

Individualised preventive measures can be initiated based on this data. Appropriate procedures can also be offered for trend topics such as the connection of wearables (small, multi-sensor systems worn directly on the body to record vital parameters).

Wearables as a building block for an optimised customer journey?

The BSI Customer Suite also offers the right processes for trend topics such as the connection of wearables, which can be customised to the insurer's requirements. In addition, the Customer Suite can be used for marketing campaigns to inform policyholders about the benefits of using wearables.

Wearables enable the continuous collection of health data, giving health insurers valuable insights into the health of their policyholders. By integrating wearable data into loyalty and prevention programmes, health insurers can develop personalised health offers that are tailored to the individual needs and goals of their policyholders.

One example is the promotion of an active lifestyle. Based on data from wearables, insurers can offer tailored training plans and exercise programmes to help improve physical fitness and reduce the risk of chronic disease. This can take the form of rewards or incentives for regular physical activity to motivate policyholders to maintain healthy behaviours.

In addition, the data from the wearables enables continuous monitoring of chronic diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Insurers can use the data to set individual health targets and support policyholders in adhering to their treatment plans. This can improve quality of life, prevent complications and lead to better health in the long term.

The integration of wearable data also enables health insurers to better understand their policyholders and make more accurate risk assessments. By gaining detailed insights into the health status and behaviour of their policyholders, health insurers can develop personalised insurance offers that are tailored to the individual risk profile. This helps to improve the health of policyholders and reduce costs in the long term by avoiding or delaying expensive medical treatment.

Overall, wearables play a crucial role in promoting prevention and health management in health insurance. By integrating wearable data into their programmes, health insurers can develop personalised healthcare offerings that meet the needs of their policyholders. This not only helps to improve the health and well-being of policyholders but also increases efficiency and reduces costs for health insurers.

Challenges and data protection

The advantages of personalised services and the associated analysis of health data are obvious. But what would further developments and innovations be without challenges and, above all, without data protection requirements?

The processing of health data is extremely sensitive and is subject to strict legal regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation. The challenge is to ensure that customers' data is adequately protected while at the same time carrying out the necessary analyses to enable a personalised customer journey.

A central problem is the anonymisation and pseudonymisation of health data. Even if the data is available in pseudonymised form, it can often be linked to individual persons when analysed accordingly. This harbours the risk of data breaches and requires strict security measures to ensure data protection.

Another aspect is ethical considerations when dealing with health data. Policyholders must be able to trust that their data will be treated confidentially and only used for legitimate purposes. Transparency about how data is collected, processed and used is therefore crucial to maintaining customer trust.

It becomes particularly challenging when health insurance companies use wearables to collect health data. These devices, such as fitness trackers or smartwatches, continuously collect data on users' health and behaviour. While this can provide valuable information, it also creates new challenges for data protection.

The use of wearables in health insurance requires clear consent from policyholders and compliance with strict data protection guidelines. It must be ensured that data is transmitted, stored and processed securely and that customers retain control over their data.

Conclusion

Personalisation in health insurance has opened up a new way of interacting with customers. Tailor-made offers based on big data analyses and wearable technologies not only improve customer satisfaction but also change the entire customer journey. Personalised approaches enable health insurers to better understand the individual needs of their policyholders and proactively contribute to their health. The integration of wearable data enables a more accurate risk assessment and the development of personalised insurance offers. Personalised prevention programmes promote a healthy lifestyle and help to monitor and manage chronic diseases. Despite the numerous benefits, the processing of health data harbours challenges for data protection. Compliance with legal regulations and data protection measures are crucial in order to maintain customer trust and fully exploit the benefits of the personalised customer journey.

You can find more exciting topics from the world of adesso in our previous blog posts.

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Picture Jan Laßmann

Author Jan Laßmann

Jan Laßmann works as a consultant at adesso. His work focuses on the digitalisation of private health insurance and digital health. He is also intensively involved with innovative solutions and technologies in the healthcare sector.

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