2021 Technology Trends
Digital technology has evolved from an advantage to an expectation and as individuals demand more ownership over their digital lives, insurers must find ways to provide individuals with more assistance, making them co-creators of their own experiences. Insurers that can do this will find more active, engaged, and loyal employees.
According to Accenture’s Technology Vision for Insurance 2020 report, 81% of insurers acknowledge that technology has become an unavoidable part of the human experience. Many insurers are holding onto spreadsheets, pens, and paper business practices.
Imagine living in a world where all the answers were right at your fingertips and the evolution of technology was able to systematically assist you, allowing you to work smarter not harder. If only you explored the world, you may find ways to be more effective and efficient leveraging the power of technology.
Let’s walk through some of our favorite technology trends and see if we can uncover how they could help now or in the future.
Cyber security may not seem like it is an emerging trend, however, because of data breaches and constant threats, security will always be a notable focus. The reason more secure portals are being created in the insurance industry is to provide greater security protocols than what snail mail, email, and fax can provide. In an encrypted, closed access portal, there is freedom to feel more confident in the ability to keep your personal data secure and client’s personal information protected with the most up to date security practices. If there are hackers who continue to find ways through even the toughest security, then cyber security will remain a trend as we will evolve to defend against hackers.
To help people find the answers they need, we are always looking for ways to decrease service issues and requests. Technology self-help has provided an avenue for assisting in these areas. Self-help leverages company portals and websites and finds company created content, simple Q&A knowledge bases, quick reference training guides, user manuals, and easy to search and find answers to the questions you must self-teach while you are working. While knowledge bases, articles, QRGs, and content are built with the intent to help users help themselves in real-time, they can overwhelm and lead to frustration quickly if they continue to point the user to read endless content and not find what they were looking for, looping them through endless related content.
How we can help people find the answers they are looking for? We should look for advanced self-help technologies that enhance this search experience or digital adoption platforms to guide users through processes and provide step by step visual cues and guidance to learning the proper workflow; calling out where to find information. Benefits to these technologies include helping employees when new technology is rolling out. Advanced self-help and guided tour options will all lead to lower service calls and increased satisfaction. Think about serving up your companies’ knowledge in better ways to make the experience more enjoyable to your customers and the experience more collaborative.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Chatbot
Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers a lot of promise for better healthcare delivery and servicing, especially when using company portals to connect. While the right information may be in your knowledge base, if it is not easily accessible or obvious, your customers may decide to stop using your self-service portal. In this situation, chatbots are a great solution that will offer a high ROI because of their interactive ability to keep users engaged and provide them with value.
Chatbots use Natural Language Processes (NPL) technologies that can interpret what your users are looking for, go into the knowledge base, and retrieve the most relevant information and easily present it without any human interaction or endless searching and looping around reading endless articles.
Another advantage of AI technology is the user of Machine Learning (ML). Not only will ML capabilities improve relevancy of responses and knowledge users receive on screen, it also contributes to analyzing complicated data that can be leveraged to improve user experience as a whole, including UX design or aggregating and benchmarking data sets to offer analytics for making decisions or suggesting best paths forward.
What is Blockchain? Forbes mentions that blockchain is “virtually incorruptible. Every block links to a previous block and has a time and date stamp. It is self-managed and does not require coordination from an intermediary.”
Blockchain & Health Insurance
Process inefficiencies might be the consistent consensus of those in the industry. Processes like duplicated medical records, manual claims processes, and inaccurate record keeping might be indicators of this perception. So, it should be no surprise to say, there is much to be improved in terms of efficiency and accuracy in the health insurance field. To start this, we have to be able to have interoperability of systems and devices which is crucial to ensuring that medical professionals provide sufficient care to patients, but successfully achieving interoperability with a medical systems and personal and provider devices is not easy.
Enter blockchain — medical records can be cryptographically secured and shared between health providers, introducing interoperability and increased security. Medical records can be stored safely and allow patients more access and control over their own data. This alone would provide greater patient satisfaction; it also simultaneously gives the industry money saving opportunity.
While technology trends prove that blockchain can improve the insurance industry in accuracy, efficiency, and privacy, it is important to understand that every single insurance company that embraces blockchain must coordinate and agree to operate under ethical standards. Standards and processes must be aligned for the blockchain to provide insurers with capabilities to collaborate and share data to streamline insurance processes making healthcare less of a pain for consumers.
Protected Health Information (PHI) and Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that health insurance requires, means that this heavily regulated and secured industry has the highest levels of privacy and security needs. Because of these concerns, blockchain technology must be developed further to meet standards of insurance before it is feasible to truly leverage. Also, insurance companies will have to create frameworks with clear regulation to safely utilize blockchain technology. Once these concerns are met, blockchain can transform the insurance industry for companies and their customers, employers, and their employees.
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