AAR Insurance Kenya says over 50,000 customers have signed up for a platform that helps them track medical claims using mobile phones, signifying high demand for e-health solutions in Kenya.
M-TIBA, a mobile platform operated by e-health provider Carepay, helps the medical insurer’s customers manage their medical expenses and cover benefits. AAR partnered with Carepay to roll out the service last year.
The rapid growth in uptake of the service is evidence that health care consumers in Kenya are increasingly seeking personalized services which offer convenience and transparency.
According to AAR Insurance Managing Director Nixon Shigoli, faster settlement of claims and the fact that clients have a real time view of their medical expenditure, are the primary factors behind the high uptake.
“Digitization of health care is the future. Apart from our clients being actively involved in decisions regarding their health, we want to make health care more accessible, faster, better and cheaper,” said Mr. Shigoli.
He adds that with the ongoing automation of the company’s services, AAR has reduced claims settlement time to within 48 hours after treatment.
“We have empowered our clients to make informed decisions about their health and more importantly, to be aware of their health care spending patterns. Even better, they can avoid situations where they exhaust their medical cover benefits without knowing.”
Also, M-TIBA enables customers to track what they spent at a particular health facility via SMS. Thus, they can compare costs across services providers while monitoring their medical cover benefits.
Other benefits include direct payment to service providers, minimal paperwork and access to mini-statements.
AAR unveiled M-TIBA as part of the company’s digital transformation strategy aimed at reducing expenses, enriching the customer experience and enhancing efficiency.
As a result, AAR has recorded 40 per cent increase in traffic on its digital portal through which customers can access services from anywhere around the clock.
The medical underwriter’s clients can also purchase prescription medicine online through My-Dawa, an e-health portal, thus reducing pharmacy visits.
They also deliver positive and engaging experiences for consumers as part of the wider goal of promoting better health outcomes via patient-centric and convenient e-health solutions.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines m-Health as an area of electronic health involving the use of mobile technologies to provide health services and information.
m-Health applications are increasingly in use globally to improve timely access to health services and information. According to consulting firm Deloitte, use of mobile health services can also significantly improve system weaknesses and access to health care. For medical underwriters and health care providers, it reduces claims turnaround times while minimizing opportunities for fraud and other malpractices.
Kenya has embraced m-Health as one of the strategic areas of focus in the implementation of Kenya’s e-Health strategy 2016-2020, which includes telemedicine, health information systems, messaging and e-learning.
The Covid-19 pandemic has also accelerated uptake of mobile and online-based health platforms as people avoid in-person contact due to social distancing and other preventive measures.