However, the undisputed focus of every health insurance company is also on being aware of its outstanding social and health policy responsibility when it comes to dealing with data. From my point of view, there are two sides to this: of course, many companies in the healthcare industry have difficulties consolidating the wealth of data that they collect and translating it into realisable results. Most data is stored in separate silos. This is due to the need to comply with strict privacy policies and laws, which in turn means that different clinical, financial and operational data is stored separately. And in case of any doubt, almost every data access or exchange must be secured, encrypted and controlled as much as possible.
As if that were not enough complexity, the increasing variation of unstructured data types generated from formats such as transcribed notes, images and videos is added. The intelligent use of technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, I am firmly convinced, will bring us closer to the interoperability of these silos.
The second side of the coin concerns the use of data for the benefit of the people from whom we have mostly received this data in the first place. For me, this is a requirement of every health insurance company. Without them, we would not have the opportunity to exploit the power of highly developed data technologies to process data into information in immense quantities, at high speeds and across a multitude of networks and to use the resulting quantitative findings as a basis for decision-making and action.
In my view, there are two areas that would benefit most. On the one hand, data helps doctors to create better patient profiles and predictive models in order to anticipate, diagnose and treat diseases more effectively. This leads to new insights and opportunities that would normally take generations to uncover. Such a breakthrough would lead to proactive and preventive communication with the patient from the predominantly reactive practice of daily medical routines.
On the other hand, and this must be discussed completely openly, data should also be the focus of a well-founded business decision. Since, as the saying goes, it is “about business,” which inevitably results from the fact that all of us, without exception, oscillate more or less between health and illness in the course of our lives. That’s the way it is and that’s the way it stays. This is not changed by the fact that we as human beings, like every health insurance company, only benefit if a customer does not become a patient in the first place.
With forecasting methods, health professionals can anticipate future developments much more reliably and make better business decisions that are supported by numbers rather than expectations. Using data analysis to identify trends, demand and treatment patterns also eliminates inefficiencies and reduces unnecessary expenses. This is equally important for all benefit recipients, contributors and us as statutory payers in view of the rising costs of healthcare worldwide.
That brings me back to my original claim. I call the people who shape the expectations of many of our customers today, “G.A.F.A.s,” for example. Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple are the ones that lead anyone who orders goods on the Internet today to expect “delivery tomorrow.” Customers also transfer this claim to the services of a health insurance company. This is one of the reasons why we have to keep thinking ahead in the context of information and communication technology. So that innovations in this sense help to make processes sleeker and more efficient and ultimately improve service quality for our customers.
More Information: www.barmer.com
More Information: www.t-systems.com/success-stories/barmer-digital-assistant