"Tech in Insurance & Health: the opportunity of an integrated digital transformation", is the title of the new research published by the Italian Insurtech Association, in collaboration with Allwell, RGA and EY. A detailed overview of the Italian Insurance & Health system that identifies the main trends, innovation drivers, enabling technologies, opportunities and challenges emerging from the convergence of two strategic industries, insurance and health, which are undergoing a profound process of digital transformation. The contribution gathered through interviews with public and private healthcare operators, active throughout the country, was also fundamental to complete the analysis on the health business and the synergies between the healthcare and insurance sectors.

What are the most important trends? The research clearly shows how, in a context characterised by growing attention to health issues and rapid technological development, the role of the insurer is evolving according to a number of main drivers, transversal to the Companies.

It is evident that there is a shift from the role of passive actor, oriented towards the reimbursement of the claim following the occurrence of the insured event, to a role of active and proactive actor in guiding the client in the prevention processes, with the dual objective of increasing knowledge and relationships, and improving, as much as possible, the Companies’ technical accounts by reducing claims’ incidence on it. The 'From Cure to Care' approach therefore aims at a change in classical health and insurance protection models, putting the patient at the centre and focusing on prevention, contributing to the adoption of healthy and virtuous behaviour and early diagnosis. Strong emphasis is placed on the shift towards a patient-experience based on an increasing integration of digital and physical care, through tools such as telemedicine, virtual assistance and robot caregivers.

It is necessary to move towards a 360-degree offer of services and assistance throughout the Patient Journey (prevention, diagnosis, treatment and post-claims phases), to encourage the adoption of these solutions and to make them effective. The trends identified by the insurance players are substantially in line with the vision that emerged from the interviews conducted with healthcare workers. In particular, there is confirmation of the importance of the development of integrated ecosystems, and the diffusion of patient management solutions based on the combination of digital services and face-to-face medical assistance, for the full realisation of the "phygital" model: using technology to build a bridge between the physical and digital worlds.

The future’s health protection will be very much about prevention, with the physical experience still predominant but complemented by a digital experience

There are very interesting opportunities arising from the "Open Health Data" approach: companies are experimenting new solutions to meet the growing demand for protection and prevention, easily accessible to customers, and also enabled by new digital channels. Insurers have the opportunity to leverage the growing array of data at their disposal to forge new relationships with policyholders, enabling preventive interventions to address behavioural health needs.

The rise of mobile apps, wearable technologies and various data portals have led to an increase in available health data, offering opportunities for more personalised services. The development of health ecosystems is leading to increasingly relevant thinking on how to use data and generate insights. The trend is confirmed by the survey: 57% of companies are using information solutions to supplement their data assets, although in some cases still in an experimental form.

The development of ecosystems, the combination of digital and physical assistance ("phygital" experience) and the possibility for players in the sector to share, exchange and be able to interoperate between themselves – confirming the "Open Health Data" approach – are among the main areas of future investments. In this context, insurers are taking an increasingly active role in relation to their customers, with the aim of becoming a preferred channel for prevention, and for provision of all-round services, leveraging health ecosystems.

The health insurance of the future will have to involve an increasingly digital customer engagement, accessible to all, and enabled by technological innovation. The entry of new innovative players will create a global and integrated management model of health services, as consistent as possible with customer expectations.

Insurers have the opportunity to leverage the growing range of data at their disposal to move from a predictive model to a prescriptive one, operating within ecosystems that will enable collaboration and the development of a range of value-added services for the customer, complementing the insurance product. 



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