Most health insurers recognize the importance of engaging members in their healthcare journey to help drive member satisfaction, improve quality ratings, and achieve better health outcomes. When members are actively involved in their healthcare, they are more likely to adhere to care plans, follow preventive measures, and make informed decisions about their health.

According to a study published in Health Affairs, higher engagement is associated with better health outcomes and lower care costs. Additionally, higher engagement is linked to plan loyalty. When members perceive that their health plan is invested in their health and well-being, their engagement levels rise, leading to increased loyalty, higher retention and reduced turnover.

As a result, healthcare organizations and plans are implementing strategies that prioritize member engagement and improve the overall member experience. To do this, many are leveraging innovative connective care technologies to engage their members with more personalized, convenient care and better member experiences.

The following are five ways connective care technology can improve member engagement and satisfaction:

AI Virtual Health Assistants

Research has shown that connective care technology can help increase engagement, satisfaction and adherence while directly impacting quality measures. One example is with digital engagement tools such as AI virtual health assistants. In fact, results from internal data suggest that AI virtual health assistants like Esper can help increase adherence, lower attrition, and significantly reduce administrative burden for staff.

AI-virtual health assistants deliver outreach on behalf of medical practices and health plans through phone and SMS text communications. They can help streamline incoming phone calls, deliver member surveys, and assist with onboarding and educating users. AI-enabled technology can also engage individuals with health assessments, alerts for daily vitals collection, and shipping or device updates.

One of the key benefits of AI virtual health assistants is the ability to provide 24/7 support to patients and members. Unlike traditional customer service representatives, they are available around the clock, ensuring that members and patients can access assistance whenever they need it. This not only enhances member engagement but also increases satisfaction by reducing wait times and providing immediate responses to inquiries. With access to 24/7 assistance and a direct connection to a support team, members can feel peace of mind knowing someone is always available.

Remote Patient Monitoring

Another way connective care technology can improve the member experience is through remote patient monitoring (RPM). With the help of devices such as blood pressure cuffs, pulse oximeters, glucometers and digital weight scales, individuals can track their health parameters, such as heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels and weight, from the comfort of their homes. This health data is securely sent to their care team, allowing for the early detection of any abnormalities and enabling timely interventions that reduce the need for unnecessary hospital or emergency room visits.

RPM can be used to effectively monitor a wide range of health conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular heart failure, COPD, HTN-stroke, pneumonia, COVID-19, sepsis, obesity and post-surgical cases.

In addition to increasing access to care, enhancing engagement and improving health outcomes, research published in the Journal of American Medicine Association (JAMA) found that remote monitoring could also be associated with 87% fewer hospitalizations, 77% fewer deaths and reduced per-patient costs of $11,472 over standard care and gains of 0.013 quality-adjusted life-years.

Safety and Activity Monitoring

Other connected care technologies that help health plans increase member engagement and satisfaction include personal emergency response systems (PERS), also known as medical alert devices. These connected health devices provide members access to 24/7 assistance with just the push of a button. From compact wearable devices with fall detection and safety features such as GPS location, to the ability to monitor activity levels and step counts, these devices include enhanced capabilities that have come a long way since the original versions.

Certain PERS devices can be paired with an analytics and reporting platform to deliver healthcare organizations access to population data and dashboards that can stratify and track activity levels and other health data. This enables payers and providers to identify and predict those individuals at risk for hospital transport or admission, alerting care teams of those who may be in decline or who may need intervention or additional services.

Not only are these new PERS devices simplistic in their design, but they are also created to accommodate the varying needs of an aging population. Additionally, PERS sidesteps the barriers to use that the internet can pose to many.

Some PERS have also been proven to help reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and ED visits, delivering significant cost savings. Not only is this wearable device lifesaving, but it also has an impressive ROI; with every dollar spent on PERS, $7.19 is saved in healthcare costs.

Medication Management

Ensuring medication adherence is one of the most basic forms of patient engagement. It is also critical to quality of life, better outcomes and lower healthcare costs. However, nearly 50% of patients do not take their medications as prescribed.

Connective care technology can help support medication adherence with mobile apps and smart medication dispensers that can send reminders to members to take their medication on time. These tools help reduce the likelihood of adverse events related to over-or-under-dosage and avoid issues relating to medication adherence, such as hospital admissions, readmissions and emergency department (ED) visits.

Data Analytics

To more effectively and efficiently improve member engagement, health plans can leverage data from connected health devices to gain insights into their members’ health and preferences. This information can be used to develop targeted wellness programs and interventions tailored to the member’s needs. By offering personalized communications, recommendations and incentives, health plans can empower their members to take a more active role in managing their health, leading to improved engagement and satisfaction.

Lastly, for healthcare organizations and payers looking to transform the member experience, connective care technology can be an effective and efficient strategy. By leveraging solutions such as AI-enabled virtual health assistants, remote patient monitoring, personal emergency response, medication management, and data analytics, payers and providers can provide more personalized, convenient, and proactive care that not only improves members’ health but leads to a better overall experience.