Bridging the Human and Digital Touch
While the health care industry has made significant strides in new offerings and solutions, such as patient virtual reality and aggregated health data apps, the pandemic continues to expose a lack of common data standards and customer interfaces to the world. Those challenges emphasized how true digital reinvention requires a strategic combination of data, a robust set of APIs to integrate data sets across organizations and domains, and the people with consulting chops who can work meaningfully with the results.
Lack of trust in health care remains an issue. Consumer and community trust in care providers and institutions is critical for optimal outcomes. Recent data from the Pharmaceutical Journal confirms, for example, that confidence empowers someone's willingness to get crucial medical care, preventive screenings, and mental health care, resulting in greater patient autonomy and shared decision making. Trust is also linked to improved patient experience, health outcomes, and the patient's perception of their care. When reflecting on the importance of trust in recent years, the pandemic underlined its importance, especially as confidence in vaccination, and in the ability of health care systems to both communicate and successfully deliver vaccination programs safely is top of mind for Americans. Whether speaking to a clinician, calling into a call center or checking a website to learn what to do, trust became invaluable in helping people achieve outcomes.
IMPORTANCE OF TRUST ▼
"One of the issues in our industry is that there is so much choice - there are so many things that both employers and employees need to choose. Whether it’s what doctor to go to, what medical plan to implement, or the overall benefit strategy, with so many choices, trust is a critical element to help guide employers, employees and their families through a complex environment."
- Vinay Gidwaney, Chief Product Officer
We have come to learn that technology-led innovation alone will not suffice. Digital solutions built with integrated data must earn employers' and consumers' trust by ensuring it’s unambiguous, insightful, robust, transparent and private. The tech forward and thoughtfully human approach will be paramount to disrupt the customer experience in health care. This combination is more than just providing more tools and solutions – that has been happening for years. The solution must be rooted in human touch and digital touch that, when combined, creates a modern experience and hybrid interface to the point solution approach that has been taking place for years. This is where an insurance broker can flex their value within the health care industry.
Brokers represent the intersection of trust, strategy, delivery and tech-forward innovation.
For years, brokers have earned employers' trust across the country, leading them through large-scale changes, such as the Affordable Care Act, rising health care costs, and navigating a sea of solutions pointed towards complications associated with aging populations. Historically, achieving the human-lead, high-touch and complex environment has been the more challenging piece of the puzzle. By creating the digital delivery ecosystem and sharply focusing on the digital touch, brokers will guide at scale – the same insights, trust-backed relationships, now delivered through the modern experience that today's consumers expect and received through other industries. The ecosystem does not change, but the mechanics will.
Human Touch → Digital Touch
People Advice → Applications
Partnerships → API Connections
Advice based on Gut Instinct → AI-served Data
This approach to innovation, primarily known as a distributor or aggregator model, has been used successfully in countless other industries. Amazon, for example, has disrupted the retail model and now billions of users seek, purchase and subscribe to products and services. Amazon drove change as a distributor of products – the products did not change, just the delivery mechanism and how products are custom-curated and recommended to users. Similarly, brokers act as a connector between hundreds of insurance carriers, health-focused solutions and the individual, and the value will be developed when the human-based advice and insights can scale through technology.
Data interoperability is at the heart of most health care challenges today. To do better as a health system, we need knowledge and good, usable information to guide us. We also need new technology - meaning not just solutions - but new ways of doing things that incorporate user experience. When we crack the code on translating data from public and private sources and can deliver in a modern, user-centric format, it will give us the ability to flip the script on an industry.
Chief Product Officer