Tech Facilitates Performance, Improves ExperienceBy Miriam Bello | Mon, 09/27/2021 - 17:26
Q: Accessing patient data is a delicate process for insurers. How does Bupa ensure this information is managed correctly?
A: Our strategy follows the strictest regulations regarding data access. All the control accesses are constantly updated, so we are aware of who uses the data, when and why. We also undergo internal and external audits to detect any weak spots in our information management chain. Bupa also performs cybersecurity exercises and trains employees who manage the information.
Q: What are the main risks to patient data from the technology boom?
A: The patient almost always has ownership of their data. Providers can only access the information they need to provide the service patients paid for. The pandemic accelerated the digitalization process and the transformation was fast because the sector needed the responsive tools that technology offers.
The risks that digitalization represents have grown alongside telemedicine, digital prescriptions and deliveries, among other factors. Bupa was fully aware of this threat and has worked to identify those risks to eliminate them before they become a threat.
Q: With the pandemic accelerating the digital transformation, what are your priorities as a responsible actor in the digital environment?
A: In August 2021, we launched the Bupa Mexico app to group the different services we offer our clients, including 24/7 telemedicine consultations. The app is the cornerstone of our digitalization process and the channel in which we see more opportunities to continue growing. Clients are now able to see the medical providers offered by their Bupa policy, which also provides them with an electronic ID. The app also allows clients to access their policy and their beneficiaries’ information.
This app is just the start of Bupa’s digital services. In the near future, we want users to manage their claims through the app, which will also provide health services to complement our telemedicine consultations. We also measure vital signs, using AI to analyze the user’s face to detect quick appearance indicators. Our goal is to use AI to offer greater benefits to our clients through a complete app that allows them to feel safe and avoid unnecessary hospital visits.
Q: How has Bupa integrated technology into the different stages of its operations?
A: As a client-centric company, every area works together to support the patient. We have integrated several services that benefit clients, including digital payment methods through online services and multichannel call-center tools. We are also developing a tool to reduce risks in our internal underwriting.
The mobile app is one of our most important investments. Our goals for it include investing in preventive and digital medicine tools. We will also improve our webpage to provide better services to our clients through whichever channel they prefer to reach us. Between 2020 and 2021, we invested MX$220 million (US$11 million) in Bupa’s digitalization process.
Q: There are many regulatory gaps in the medtech environment. What areas present the greatest urgency?
A: There is much work to be done regarding medical devices and wearables. Digital health and monitoring are generating new home-care devices that call for a specific regulatory framework. It might be hard to cope with the number of innovations coming out but regulators must be more agile to address them.
Q: How will the insurance sector change with the entrance of tech giants?
A: These large companies could be great allies for the insurance sector and help us improve services; both sectors could complement each other. Giant tech companies have even more capabilities to meet our clients’ needs and support our services.
Bupa is a health insurance provider headquartered in the UK that operates in the EU, the Americas, Asia and Africa. The company has been in Mexico for more than 20 years.