The future of digital | Sanitas health insurance

The future of digital

The Sanitas Portal app and Active app already offer customers many benefits. But Sanitas has even bigger plans for the future. Emanuele Diquattro, member of the Executive Board, talks about the opportunities and looks ahead to the future.

Text: Michael Suter

The Sanitas Portal app now has an integrated messenger. When will it be possible for customers to use this channel to take out insurance?

Our goal is to enable customers to buy simple insurance solutions directly in the messengerin the near future. However, there are a number of technical and legal challenges that must first be overcome before this is possible.

Such as?

Data security is, of course, a top priority. One issue that therefore remains to be resolved is data encryption. We also have to work out how to identify customers in the messenger so that any contracts they take out online are legally valid. This involves reviewing the latest technologies, such as voice or face recognition software.

More and more company messengers are using chatbots instead of employees to communicate with customers. These systems answer questions automatically. Are there plans to use this kind of systems in the Sanitas Portal app?

Chatbots are an excellent solution for simple and repetitive queries. The messenger is used to answer simple customer queries, for example about benefits covered under a specific plan. We plan to expand this service in the future so our customers can get answers to their questions outside office hours.

We had two goals in mind when we developed the Sanitas Portal app. First, we wanted to offer our customers a fast and personal service at all times.  And second, we wanted to make it easier for customers to make contact with us. For example, they can use the app to change their address and scan and send in documents. This saves time and postage.

A digital vaccination pass was integrated into the Sanitas Portal app in 2016. Will it be possible in the future to find out when you’re due for a booster for diphtheria/tetanus?

The app already sends out reminders for vaccinations. One idea for the future is that customers will be able to book an appointment for their next vaccination directly from the app. With solutions like these we need to work with new partners to put these ideas into practice and create the necessary interfaces. 

Sanitas launched a second app this summer – the Active app. It tracks your activity when you cycle to the shopping centre or take a jog around the block. Tracking apps are ten a penny today. What sets the Sanitas Active app apart from the others?

If you track your route the next time you go jogging, you know at the end how far you’ve run. And that’s it. Wouldn’t you be more likely to run if you were promised a reward at the end? That’s the idea behind our Active app. We encourage a healthy lifestyle and offer corresponding rewards...

...including vouchers for sports gear, diet programmes, etc. Why not offer a discount on monthly premiums?

Basic insurance is governed by a law aimed at ensuring the equal treatment of all customers. For example, a person with a physical disability would always be at a disadvantage compared to an able-bodied person because they could never cover the same distances and therefore never achieve the same level of discount. The situation is different for supplementary insurance. In future, we will reward customers who get a lot of exercise and invest in staying healthy by making a contribution to fitness centre memberships or sports courses.

And customers who don’t do enough exercise will be penalised by higher premiums?

Of course not! We want to create incentives to encourage a healthy lifestyle, we don’t want to punish anyone. We want to be seen as a coach who promotes healthy habits.

Additional information

Emanuele Diquattro, 35, joined Sanitas 20 years ago as a business trainee. He has since held several positions in a number of departments within the company. In 2012 he was appointed Head of IT and became a member of the executive board. For the last three years he has been Head of Sales and Marketing.

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