Client Stories

Why the world should watch a German non-profit insurer

Share this post:

While health insurance is typically viewed through a local lens, now is a good time to pay attention to what is happening in global markets.  Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) is the largest public health insurance fund in Germany. Their digitalization strategy could provide a test pattern for how insurers globally will provide more control and transparency to customers.

At IBM Think 2019, Chief Innovation Officer of TK, Daniel Cardinal, and Laura Pudlorz, IBM, presented Connecting the Dots in the Insurance Experience with Platform Technology. Rated Germany’s best health insurance fund for the 12th year in a row, TK saw an opportunity to grow even further by putting the patient at the center of their strategy. But it is not only growth they are after; TK also understands the market disruption possible by a non-traditional player with access to data. Their strategy is both growth oriented and a pre-emptive strike.

It is also about cost savings. TK agrees with McKinsey that digitalization can deliver up to 12% additional savings by providing benefits such as online interaction, better workflow and automation, transparency and decision support and the opportunity for the patient to participate more fully in their care and treatment1. Not only will the German populace have increased quality of care through these efforts, the costs of healthcare may be reduced, delivering value back to the patient in the non-profit scenario.

So, what are they doing? TK has created the TK-Safe, an app where the user, the patient in this case, owns their data. No longer must the patient rely solely on the doctor to steer them through the system. By moving from health record to health platform, TK can offer health and wellness-focused services such as immunization recommendations and a drug interaction advisory service. The patient also has the ability to schedule doctor appointments, secure medical documentation, receive reminder, and view past doctor visits, diagnosis and prescribed medications. With physician, hospital and provider information at their fingertips, the insured can be an active participant in this customer-centric model that already has 100,000 test users and will soon be offered to as many as 11 million people.

When most people hear the words “health data” and “app,” the next thought is SECURITY. (Yes, the mind is thinking in all caps at this point). Security has been the highest priority for TK from the inception as technology partners must meet stringent requirements.  Through an ongoing partnership, IBM delivers a secure cloud environment that meets with the strict standards of the German government. In this patient-centric electronic healthcare environment, the users own and control their data, deciding how much access to provide. It is only visible to the system when the user opts in. Furthermore, neither IBM nor TK have access to the patient data; it all belongs to the patient.  So far, TK has received great feedback from their test users.

The eHR solution is one of the relevant services delivered on the IBM Open Health Platform. It is an excellent example of the expansion of this ecosystem and will provide future opportunity for algorithm-based care, personalized health coaching, health tracking and efficient exchange of information. The possibilities for country-specific and interoperable systems, which can include hospitals, pharmacies, physicians and providers, are notable.

–>View the presentation

–>Learn more about IBM Insurance Platform

1 Source | McKinsey; Digitalisierung im Gesundheitswesen: die Chancen für Deutschland [Digitization in the Health Care Sector: Opportunities for Germany], September 2018.

More Client Stories stories

To energize innovation in financial services, take it outside

Financial companies have always been innovators. But in this age of digital transformation, innovation in financial services is more important than ever to stay competitive. Innovation processes, traditionally limited to product development, are now spreading throughout the entire organization. Many companies, however, are not yet well-positioned to reap the benefits. When researchers from the IESE […]

Continue reading

Four ways to stem the growth of financial crime in insurance

Insurers have long understood that the ability to quickly detect fraudulent claims not only stems losses, but also minimizes the impact to legitimate customers as well. But as more complex financial crimes like money laundering, employee fraud, and corruption have gravitated toward insurers more recently, many don’t have the programs in place to combat these […]

Continue reading

How can insurers stay relevant when insurance ceases to be mandatory?

Insurance and insurers have been around for millennia, with modern insurance starting in the U.K. more than 300 years ago. For much of this time, incumbent insurers have been protected from competition by four big barriers: regulation, the law of large numbers, the trust nature of insurance, and, last but not least, the inertia of […]

Continue reading