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HEALTH| 04.01.2021

Three lessons learned from the accelerated transformation process of telemedicine

Marta Villalba

Pedro Díaz Yuste

Talking about telemedicine and its evolution, especially in the last year, means talking about COVID-19. Overloaded health systems have complicated the care of patients in specialties such as oncology. Today, on World Cancer Day, we analyze the challenges and opportunities identified at this time. In the case of consultations that cannot be delayed, telemedicine offers an option for patients and families to stay connected with their medical team, facilitating proper monitoring of the treatment and care they need.

When Savia, MAPFRE’s telemedicine platform, opened up its service free of charge to the general population in March 2020, we faced great technological and human capital challenges. The objective was to offer a high-quality service with all the requisite controls and in record time.

We have registered three major takeaways from this accelerated digital transformation process:

  • From the user’s perspective, we have understood the importance of prevention, developing new products aimed at at-home patient care and new telemedicine functionalities such as the possibility of opting for an online prescription.

  • From a technological perspective, we are aware of the need to offer a flexible and robust platform that can handle scaling up in real time. For example, during the month of March, almost 200 MAPFRE doctors joined the platform within a matter of days to offer the best possible service.

 

  • From a product perspective, the user needs to always be at the center of the strategy and we need to listen to and understand their needs correctly. Thanks to this active listening, we have created new products, such as the nutritional program that combines nutrition and sports, and a pack specially designed for runners.

What are the next challenges we are going to face in telemedicine?

Optimizing all the changes we have implemented, increasing our system capacity and reducing its variability are some of the most relevant, but there is a greater challenge to be addressed, which relates to the digitization of the user: digital health solutions have to be refined constantly so as to deliver a more proactive and consistent user experience.

That’s why we are working on projects where wearable technology represents a great advance and the integration of the digital experience with the face-to-face experience will end up generating a more complete health management experience.

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