Ecosystems along the healthcare customer journey

The perspective from which we look at health insurers is changing. With the shift to an ecosystem, insurers are transforming from a pure service provider to a health manager that accompanies the patient along the entire customer journey. This, in turn, has a huge impact on the perception of the customer – from the bad guy who doesn’t want to pay the treatment bills to someone who helps to manage the customer’s wellbeing to avoid future costs. This creates a whole new set of business model opportunities and exponential innovation within the healthcare industry, with many insurance companies tipped to become such a partner in healthcare. Accompanying the customer along the entire journey and orchestrating the various touchpoints and stakeholders has many benefits besides changing customer perception. Insurance companies can automate, control costs and create value – extending the value chain along the treatment path. Healthcare is no longer limited to business days and office hours. More and more, it’s about 24/7 treatment.

Patrick Wilhelm and Nicolas Neuwirth
ERNI Switzerland

Collecting a lot of data

Along this extended value chain, the parties involved gain and collect much more data than in the past. The insurance company not only gets all the data about what treatments and medications you have had and how much you have been charged but also how much exercise you have in your daily life, what combinations of medications you get and, based on that, how big the risk is that something might happen or go wrong. The insurance model can be tailored for each patient. All data is strictly confidential, even though it’s a challenge to analyse data anonymously to keep everything confidential. Soon there will be a new alternative to the EID law, because the Swiss people have expressed that they do not trust private parties to manage digital patient identity and rejected this in a vote. Most likely, we will soon see a new attempt to establish a digital patient record, where the state will guarantee the proper handling and confidentiality and will be responsible and in charge of the operation of such a system.

Promoting interoperability

Interoperable data and artificial intelligence can help consumers in ways we haven’t thought of in the past. Data will be at the heart of the future of health. According to a Deloitte study, by 2040 highly trained healthcare professionals will be able to spend more time with patients with complex health conditions. Data and technology will enable patients to treat many routine health issues at home. Imagine the recent challenge with coronavirus infection. Instead of visiting a clinic or doctor’s office, a diagnostic test could be used at home to confirm an infection and discuss the results with a doctor remotely. Secure platforms would allow the patient to verify the diagnosis, order medication and have it delivered to their home.

exponential innovation

Data security is a major challenge

As a secure way to handle confidential patient data, there are companies working on blockchain for secure data transfer. A pilot project is available in Estonia. A lot of data is being collected there. But the question is, where is the data secure? Data about a particular person’s health is considered the most sensitive in terms of security.

What’s next?

Many companies operating in healthcare, as well as other sectors, are already making strategic investments that will shape the future of healthcare. Stakeholders should prepare for the disruptions and consider many aspects:

Build new businesses. The incidence of major chronic diseases is likely to decline dramatically. In response, healthcare organisations should adapt their business models to remain competitive.

Forge partnerships. Technology giants and startups will drive change. What they lack is healthcare expertise, regulatory expertise, a targeted customer base and existing partnerships. Disruptors will likely be more willing to partner with established big players. • Stakeholders should develop tactics to effectively engage with consumers. They should also work to gain their trust and demonstrate their value.

Challenges of the customers in the health care sector and our offer

  • Business model strategy – What are the trends? What should models look like? How do we test them? How do we develop them?
  • How we evaluate partners – coverage analysis, architectural review, we look at Partner A.
  • Expansion of the core business and physical implementation
  • Process analysis in order to have a smooth flow along the customer journey
  • What do we offer, an app? A device like a smartwatch, or something else?

ERNI as an enabler in the development of ecosystems

An ecosystem is huge. It’s the wrong approach to think you have to build a whole ecosystem from the beginning. There are different stages that you can adopt as a goal. For example, a company like ERNI can help you create a blueprint for the different stages of building an ecosystem. We can define interfaces, establish secure APIs or lend a hand in creating the overall system architecture concept. It’s all very individual and depends on how mature the healthcare topic is. Business innovation or business strategy model consulting. Strategic consulting is also our expertise in this area.

How can Big Data improve the customer experience?

Different partners come together in one ecosystem. We can offer to build customer journeys and seamlessly connect the partners’ systems so that data flows into one pot. From this common pot, we can generate insights and analyse and use the data. When you know the circumstances of the customer, the patient, you can offer them tailored products and deliver tailored messages that better appeal to them and pique their interest.

Dynamic UX approach

New challenges in the healthcare industry are accelerating the development of healthcare innovations. When it comes to digital user experiences, the healthcare sector is one of the most complex environments you can find. Despite all the digitalisation efforts, UX is often undervalued in healthcare ecosystems. The fact is, high-quality UX design can help healthcare providers deliver a better patient experience.


A typical telemedicine appointment looks like a traditional visit to the doctor, with the only difference being that the doctor is consulted remotely. Video conferencing and remote health monitoring apps are the most popular tools that medical organisations use to deliver clinical services remotely. Software in this area is designed with different patient populations in mind, so the personas concept applies in this area as well. UX designers should consider characteristics such as the age, mental state, and technical skills of users.

Health Wearables

Most regular smartwatches and fitness trackers can monitor basic metrics like the person’s heart rate, steps, and sleep patterns. For a successful UX design for a health wearable, designers should put information first. A device should be simple and intuitive.

Electronic health data

Before creating a UX design for HER software, designers need to examine how medical staff interact with a system. What does the doctor’s sequence of actions look like? Which fields are mandatory and which are not? What information is inevitably required? The solution must be userfriendly and effective.

Personas in healthcare ecosystems

Using personas and mapping their customer journey to complete specific tasks is a powerful way to look at real pain points and create solutions. The experiences that healthcare providers offer in the digital space need to address the concerns and pain points of the target audience. Before investing in creating a solution, every provider should create healthcare personas. Personas help you discover and focus on your target audience. They reveal your audience’s motivations, challenges, concerns and behaviours – the things that underlie healthcare decisions.

personas in healthcare

How do you select healthcare personas? It all starts with data. Who are your top target audiences? Where are your key growth opportunities? It may be tempting to limit yourself to service areas: primary care, orthopaedics, heart, cancer, etc. But it’s often better to look at people. When they come to your website, app or campaign, they have specific needs for information, for the tone in which it is delivered and for how each step in their journey connects. Generally, three to six healthcare personas work best – never more than eight.


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