Virtual Healthcare Innovations Enable Transformation of the Patient Journey and Greater Access to Care, Cigna’s White Paper

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Connected wearable devices worldwide is forecast to exceed 1 billion by end of 2022

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Cigna Insurance Middle East [CIME], a leading health services company, has reinforced the importance of technology, digitalization and virtual healthcare solutions in transforming healthcare systems worldwide, improving outcomes, patient journeys, and access for millions, while supporting people to integrate healthier habits into their daily lives.

Cigna’s ‘Healthcare Going Digital’ White Paper, which includes insights derived from the latest 360 Well-Being Survey, has emphasized that the growth of digital healthcare provides new possibilities for more accessible, high-value and integrated care besides freeing up vital space in clinics while increasing patient choice across clinical settings.

The rise of virtual healthcare offers patients improved access to care, through a hybrid of in-person and virtual interactions, supported by remote monitoring through sensors and/or digital tools, the health report said, adding that it is helping reduce waiting times, lower costs and, most importantly, remove unnecessary exposure to clinical environments and associated transmission risks.

According to Cigna’s white paper, the number of connected wearable devices globally is forecast to exceed 1 billion by the end of 2022[1] with health, fitness, and wellness trackers accounting for a significant portion of these driven by the rapid adoption of smart watches and digital health apps.

The white paper also highlighted that atrial fibrillation – the most common cardiac arrhythmia condition causing stroke, estimated at 37.5 million cases globally and growing – has substantially benefited from virtual care[2]. The arrival of medical smart device applications to detect cardiac arrhythmia, or remote ECG systems have changed the way the reporting and response to irregular heart conditions are done.

With the help of cardiac monitors and musculoskeletal sensors, to intuitive patient data platforms, the possibilities of virtual healthcare to improve the lives of those with chronic diseases or lifelong conditions is especially bright, enabling many to live healthier, longer lives, with less intrusive medical treatment plans.

Commenting on the capabilities of virtual health services, Jerome Droesch, Chief Executive Officer, Cigna MEA & SEA, said: “The use of virtual healthcare is years ahead of where it would have been without the global pandemic. It has transformed healthcare systems around the world improving patient outcomes. At Cigna, we are at the forefront of this digital transformation, recognizing the many benefits of virtual care, which include 24/7 access, quicker time to first consultation, reduced costs, and convenience for the patient.”

About 61% of global respondents to Cigna’s 2021 360 Well-Being Survey had said they would consider or prefer virtual over in-person care for a variety of reasons. In line with this, global health service companies – from integrated care plans to care managers – are empowering people with an improved patient journey and greater choice.

The Virtual Health White Paper encompasses insights from the Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey completed last year. This is part of a series of reports and white papers focused on managing health and well-being, combatting stress, state of work, body and mind, impact of pandemic on mental and physical health, among others, issued by Cigna based on the findings of the well-being survey and other studies.

About Cigna Middle East & Africa

Cigna Corporation is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being, and peace of mind. With a heritage of over 200 years, Cigna is committed to its promise of being together all the way in providing healthcare, clinical management and wellness programs to employers, individuals, and governments around the world.

Operating for more than 17 years in the MENA region, Cigna serves the GCC markets and Lebanon through its locally regulated entities. The company delivers both health and wellness services to individuals, employers and government entities in the region.

Cigna has been operating in the African continent for 60 years servicing over 250,000 members. Cigna is servicing corporates through a partnership between Hollard and Cigna. Together, we provide health insurance for local companies looking to insure key resources and multinationals looking to harmonize their health insurance across Africa.

Cigna maintains a global sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, employing over 74,000 people that service more than 165 million customer relationships and more than 1 billion customer touchpoints.