German health insurers start exploring the platform business
External factors such as complex customer requirements, customer lifestyle changes, and price sensitivity are having a strong impact on insurers’ prospects of profitable growth. In this context, insurers are facing the challenge of tapping into new business segments. For that reason, many established insurance companies have begun to position themselves as platform providers, building ecosystems on topics close to their core business, such as living, mobility, finance, and health.
We observe a lot of traction, specifically around the combination of health insurance and digital health services. Private health insurance is no longer just about covering risks. Thanks to technologies such as digital platforms and mobile applications, health insurers are able to play an active part in avoiding or at least minimizing risks, thereby tapping into new business.
A good example is Signal Iduna. The private health insurer offers a range of digital health services together with cooperation partners: psychological support for sleep disorders, anxiety attacks, and burnout and depression (via Novego, Selfapy, MindDoc), a digital hypertension coach (via "Manoa" by Pathmate Technologies), speech therapy (via neolexon aphasia app), vision training for children (via caterna), coping with tinnitus (via Kalmeda), and recently also physiotherapy sessions (via eCovery).
A hot topic in the private health insurance market is telemedicine. In January 2023, Signal Iduna launched a telemedicine service in the field of dermatology (via dermanostic). Using three photos and a digital questionnaire, insured persons describe their symptoms and receive a doctor's letter with a diagnosis, therapy plan, and a private prescription in less than four hours. Versicherungskammer Bayern (VKB) also entered into a partnership with dermanostic in June 2022. In addition, VKB launched iATROS in May 2022, a program for clients with heart disease that offers training and individual therapy plans. Moreover, video consultations with physicians have been launched by HanseMerkur (Feb 2022), VKB (Feb 2022), and Allianz private health insurance (July 2022), among others.
In 2022, the first announcements were made on electronic patient records (ePA). In August, Allianz became the first private health insurer to gain approval to provide ePAs. The IT company RISE provides the back-end and front-end systems. R+V health insurance company also announced its ePA for the summer of 2023. The technology provider for R+V's ePA is IBM Consulting. IBM will provide the ePA file system, an individualized service app, and will also take over application management.
However, a stable, and above all flexible, IT infrastructure is critical in ensuring a short time to market for new digital services, including fast and secure data processing with a technological connection to third-party ecosystems, and more. That is why many organizations are modernizing their application landscapes, opting for standardized solutions for their core processes and leaving their monolithic core systems behind. Consequently, we observe strong demand for standardized, industry-specific solutions (e.g. for underwriting, claims management, billing, etc.).
Find out more in PAC’s most recent edition of Insurance - InSight Analysis - Germany to gain a better understanding of the IT market (incl. IT market KPIs) and the software and IT services provider landscape in Germany.