But what if things could be done differently, more efficiently, with less time and less anxiety? What if you could use a smartphone app provided by your health insurance company to get background information on rashes, initiate a video consultation with your doctor and schedule an appointment with a highly rated specialist close by who can see your daughter that morning?
If this sounds far-fetched and futuristic, it’s not. In some countries, health insurers already have begun developing such services. Digitalization, the force that has revolutionized music, media, retail, travel and many other industries, is finally coming to healthcare—not just for back-office activities such as billing and claims processing, but to the front lines of patient care. Health insurers can play a leading role in this digital transformation, and those that move quickly and thoughtfully can seize a multibillion-dollar opportunity to contain costs and to help provide better, more efficient, more coordinated and more focused care for consumers (and their children).