Discovery Health CEO Ryan Noach. Picture: SUPPLIED.
Discovery Health CEO Ryan Noach. Picture: SUPPLIED.

In this edition of Business Day Spotlight, we talk to one of the country’s largest medical aid administrators about their investment in technology and the future of healthcare in a digital world.

Host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Ryan Noach, CEO of Discovery Health, to discuss the issues.

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Given the large and scope of JSE-listed Discovery’s operation, Noach starts by explaining his unit’s function and responsibility in the group. He says Discovery Health is a medical scheme administrator, managing the group’s scheme, as well as 18 other employer based schemes.

Noach then talks about Discovery’s investment in, and use of, technology before and after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. He says the pandemic has drastically shifted people’s behaviour.

For example, Discovery Health has been operating a telehealth platform since 2017. Before the pandemic forced social distancing on the world, Noach says they were seeing an average of 300 consultations being done online each month. Regulations were different back then and people generally chose to go in person to seek healthcare services. Since lockdowns were implemented, Discovery Health has seen a huge spike, with the platform now having 300 consultations in a day.

Noach also speaks about the importance of data analytics in improving health outcomes in SA. Using their systems, the medical aid administrator has gleaned data from the 3.7-million people who belong to the 18 medical schemes it administers to gain insights into the nature of the spread of Covid-19. One such insight was the ability to advise those who had been diagnosed with Covid-19 guidance on when it was necessary to go to the hospital.

The discussion focuses on Discovery’s investment and use of technology; the of role data in health management for patients and doctors; the role data analytics plays during Covid-19; trends in digital healthcare; and an outlook on the future of healthcare.

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 Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production.

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