Telemedicine, Tech & Prevention: The Future of Insurance ServicesBy Antonio Gozain | Tue, 08/31/2021 - 10:10
Q: How is asistensi innovating and differentiating itself from traditional insurance companies?
A: asistensi is an innovative, primary healthcare system created by doctors to change the dynamics of the sector. We developed our platform as an alternative for patients to receive care without necessarily having to visit a hospital or clinic. We focus our efforts on keeping people at home, which is more efficient and puts them at lower-risk, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the traditional health insurance market, the target has always been to cure patients by providing care in a clinic. We innovate by focusing not only on healing the patient at the clinic but taking care of them prior to them having to visit a health center with a preventive health model. Our efforts focus on providing the best treatment for the patient’s needs, whether it is telemedicine, in-person home care, laboratory-at-home or even medicine delivery.
To innovate, we traveled to the past when doctors used to visit patients at their homes, not the other way around. Our innovation combines this practice with health insurance through technology, which allows us to connect people.
Additionally, as a global insuretech, asistensi is turning the remittances from Latin American workers in the EU and US into the mentioned health plans and insurance for the family members of these workers back home (Mexico, etc.). Remittances are a US$700 billion market currently not addressed by incumbents.
Q: Why is telemedicine so important in asistensi’s business model?
A: Our data shows that 85 percent of medical consultations could be addressed at the patient’s home, allowing people to avoid visiting a clinic. Moreover, telemedicine or videocalls prevent 30 percent of those home visits.
We offer three main services: telemedicine, in-person care at home and emergency hospitalization or surgery. For telemedicine, we have developed the necessary technology to connect a patient to a doctor via videocall or phone call. We have also been working to connect with those who have the lowest internet bandwidth requirements.
asistensi provides immediate telemedicine, with a focus on emergency situations. Our job is to put the doctor and the patient in contact within 20 seconds through a phone call, which is the most accessible method. The doctor will make a diagnosis, decide if the patient needs medicines and even send an electronic prescription if needed. These doctors are hired by asistensi and operate from asistensi´s offices, which is ideal for them to provide a responsible, human service.
Q: What kind of prevention does asistensi offer? How does your model benefit both patients and care providers?
A: Making doctors and health services, like ambulances, widely and almost immediately available for patients is part of our active prevention strategy. Chronic patients facing conditions such as hypertension or diabetes usually face the highest medical costs when complications occur. We help prevent those complications by providing immediate, unlimited attention and monitoring. With our primary healthcare model, we can achieve significant results not only for our company and the health industry but also for the sustainability of the health systems and for our partners in the countries in which we operate.
Q: What benefits does asistensi offer its doctors?
A: We work with general doctors, who are able to address 80 percent of the likely reasons for the consultations. Through telemedicine, we offer them a great opportunity to work, gain experience and help people in an innovative workspace.
Q: What were the reasons behind asistensi’s decision to offer free medical consultations?
A: Our purpose is to give everyone greater access to healthcare services. Some will be able to pay for our health insurance service but others will not have that opportunity. We decided to take telemedicine further than a business model; we wanted to offer it for free to anyone experiencing an emergency by taking advantage of our infrastructure and doctors.
asistensi SOS is a public telemedicine system that allows users to do a quick, efficient digital consultation. Depending on the symptoms reported by the user, the system will estimate the level of risk. If the risk is low for the patient, it will automatically show medical recommendations. If the system flags a high risk, one of our doctors will immediately call and attend the patient. asistensi SOS is already working in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.
Q: Why did asistensi decide to come to Mexico?
A: asistensi was launched as an insurtech company in Venezuela. We later recognized that our service was needed by other countries with similar characteristics, such as high-level remittances and a large number of immigrants with the need to care for relatives in their country of origin. In just one year and a half, we expanded to the Dominican Republic and Mexico. We have plans to continue expanding to Central America and Southeast Asia thanks to the US$3 million seed financing we received last November. Last month, we underwent series-A financing (US$10.5 million) with three investment funds. One of them is the Mexican impact fund Nazca, which aims to invest in organizations that contribute to changing the world. Altogether, we have raised US$14 million to continue to grow in our offices in Madrid, Barbados, Caracas, Santo Domingo and Mexico.
Our operations in Mexico will begin in the coming weeks. We have key alliances with businesses specialized in home-care and with local insurance companies to be able to offer coverage throughout the country. These alliances are with the best service providers in Mexico.
asistensi is a platform for emergency insurance and immediate medical assistance. Led by doctors, the company specializes in health and insurance plans and services with a commitment to generate value and quality of life for its users.