In 2009, IBM founded the IBM Service Hub (ISH), a platform that connects insurance companies, their customers and healthcare service providers in one central place. Since then, over 70% of Germany’s private health insurers — along with policyholders, doctors and pharmacies — have used services from the ISH portfolio to optimize processes and help save costs. With the proliferation of smartphones now, how could the ISH help insurance companies elevate their interaction with policy holders and help make key business processes even faster, easier and more cost-effective?

Insight

Everyone can benefit from shared solutions

Many insurance companies use similar business processes for claims, underwriting, customer response and more. The key differences between these organizations are the branding of their products and services. By developing a single solution for multiple insurers that each company can brand quickly and customize as its own, multiple providers could save costs and take customer interaction to the next level.

Idea

Redesign the dialogue between insurance companies and the insured

IBM iX™ Studios Hamburg used IBM Design Thinking methodologies to explore and identify opportunities for new ISH services. These services could simplify and accelerate the dialogue between insurance companies and their policyholders. Among these opportunities was an idea for a digital mailbox for sharing encrypted documents that eventually became an essential part of the ISH GesundheitsApp.

Designed for users and insurers alike, the ISH GesundheitsApp for iOS and for Android centralizes the management and processing of healthcare and insurance-related documents. For users, the app provides archiving and data collection functionalities, synchronizes with various end devices, and displays at-a-glance information about insurance rates, tariffs and benefits. It can also make paying bills easier. Using the camera function on their smartphone, users simply photograph the barcodes of medical bills and submit them to their private health insurance company for processing.

For insurance companies, the app’s modular interface supports fast design adjustments to allow insurers to quickly rebrand the app and deploy it to their customers. In fact, most companies can implement the solution within weeks. The app also supports new payment models by enabling transactions between insurance companies and IT providers.

Impact

Happy insurers, happy policyholders

Since its launch, more than five insurance companies have already implemented the ISH GesundheitsApp to their benefit. Using the tool has reduced the processing time for invoice settlements to just one day. Users approve of the app too. Ratings reveal that users like the new services, especially the ease of use and ability to access relevant information all in one place.

1-day

processing time for invoice settlement

 
 

75%

cost reduction through brand adoption of the app

 
 

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