This article is part of our special edition “An Inside View Of MAPFRE – From Massachusetts to Madrid”
The year 2019 is a strategic and important one for the global insurer that is MAPFRE. Every three years the company presents a new Triennial Strategic Plan, outlining the major goals and objectives the company hopes to achieve within each of the major markets in which it operates.
As part of this year’s initiative, the Spanish-based insurer invited eight journalists from eight of its most strategic marketplaces, to attend the presentation of its 2019 Shareholders meeting in Madrid.
As a publication focused on the Massachusetts insurance industry, which also happens to be MAPFRE’s largest marketplace within the U.S., Agency Checklists was invited to attend the meeting in Madrid as part of a three-day tour to learn more about the company and its mission.
Savia. A first-to-market digital health platform in Spain
Although most Agency Checklists articles have focused on the P/C marketplace, last week’s announcement of the new name (“Haven”) and website (“Havenhealthcare.com”) for the Boston-based healthcare startup of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan sparked an idea. Like Berkshire Hathaway, MAPFRE has made a major move into the healthcare space in Spain with Savia. that looks a lot like something that might just work in the U.S. We thought it might be interesting for our readers to hear about “Savia,” the offering Massachusetts’ largest automobile insurer is testing within the healthcare space in Spain for possible expansion to other markets including possibly the United States.
Dubbed in the Spanish press as the “Spotify of Salud” or the “Spotify of health,” Savia is a completely digital platform dedicated to health and wellness. Launched a mere month ago, MAPFRE’s Savia is aimed at digital transforming the way healthcare is managed and administered in Spain. It is also a window into how the future of healthcare in the U.S. might evolve into.
The innovative platform offers both pay-per-service and subscription services allowing customers to pick and choose the health services they need at a certain moment in time. While the premium plan is still being developed, a basic subscription plan starts at 10 euros a month and includes among other options two video-consults and up to four free doctor calls a month. The following is look at the platform’s homepage:
With a €24 million investment by MAPFRE, the new startup is being led by the company’s Digital Health Director and ex-Googler Pedro Diaz Yuste. “Society is interacting in different ways,” Mr. Diaz Yuste noted in the official announcement. “People are moving toward a digital and connected world in which they want to be the main actor. Savia is precisely that solution. It allows you to take control of your health and manage it digitally, flexible, and instantaneously.”
The platform already provides access to the over 40 doctors and specialists who offer approximately 35 different treatments related to general medicine, dental and wellness issues. Savia “patients” can access and interact virtually with their chosen doctor through a variety of mediums including video-conference, chat, texting, and a traditional phone call. Patients logging into the site can choose a doctor, then schedule an online visit similar to scheduling a demo call with a potential vendor or product.
The site also features a 100% mobile-friendly interface and is accessible from other channels including web browsers and an app. A variety of the services offered also are available via voice using digital home assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
By harnessing the power of big data, the company says it can offer a holistic customer experience, that up until now, has been unavailable online to the everyday individual.
Data is the lifeblood of Savia’s customer experience
“Data is the blood of our business,” explained Mr. Yuste explained during his presentation of Savia in Madrid. He says more than anything else data is what is radically transforming healthcare as we know it and will be the force of change in the coming year.
It would appear that he may be correct. Four weeks in, Savia already has over 3,000 registered users on the platform. Ultimately, the company aspires to have half a million Savia users registered within the next eighteen months.
According to Savia’s Chief Data Officer, Jose Ruben Gallardo, all of Savia user’s information is encrypted and stored on the cloud to ensure the utmost in patient confidentiality. Having been launched after the implementation of the GDPR [EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)] law in Europe, it is already compliant with all of the requirements of this data privacy law.
The Spanish healthcare system is currently ranked 7th best in the world
While much is made in the U.S. press about the healthcare systems of the U.K. and Canada, very little to none is said about the Spanish one. That is a shame. Spain’s population has one of the longest life expectancies in the world with its citizens enjoying one of the world’s leading healthcare systems as well. It also appears to be a model that would most likely be the most attractive to U.S. citizens and the easiest to implement within the existing U.S. framework.
With both private and public healthcare options available, the Spanish healthcare system is currently ranked by the World Health Organization as the seventh best healthcare system in the world. Healthy competition seems to be one of the reasons why. There is a robust public healthcare system available to all citizens; however, there is also a similarly strong private healthcare system, neither of which is mutually exclusive to the other.
This means that Spaniards have access to both systems and regularly use both private and public healthcare, picking and choosing between what services offer the best care. It would be like having MassHealth as the public health care system available to all its citizens, no matter their income, while also having the option to buy any private healthcare plan as well.
Ultimately, one of the reasons why a startup like Savia can work in Spain, is because of the price transparency that already exists there. In this screenshot taken from the website, for example, the following are pricing options for tests and check-ups by a Sports Medicine Doctor. (As of this writing the Euro, symbol €, is exchanged at 1.12 to the dollar).
This type of transparency does not exist in the U.S. right now and obviously, would be transformative if done here, and at these prices.
If Spain’s healthcare is so great, what problem is Savia solving?
It would seem a couple. First, while there are both private and public healthcare options in Spain, not everyone has access to both types of plans. Thus, an option to purchase specialist care for a specific illness or ailment is an attractive option for someone who might not want the procedure done via the public healthcare system, for whatever reason.
As one of the top destinations in Europe for snowbirds and retirees, Savia also offers an easy and inexpensive way for temporary residents to obtain healthcare otherwise unavailable to them or without having to purchase a yearly plan.
Finally, Spaniards are living longer each year. According to a recent study by the World Health Organization cited in a CNN article last year, Spain will overtake Japan by 2040 to be the country will the longest life expectancy. This means with people living longer than ever; healthcare will have to be more flexible and adaptable to longer, healthier lives. Savia believes it can address this problem by offering flexible care to the changing needs of this population living longer than ever before.
U.S. regulation differs from that in Spain and implementing a health care option across the United States would be a complex project, to say the least. And while the startup is mum on whether it will eventually enter the U.S., it did say it was considering the idea.
While no mention of its US plans were made, Mr. Yuste did admit that they already were considering launching Savia outside of Spain, including the U.S. Obviously, Agency Checklists thinks that with the insurers headquarters based in Massachusetts, and Boston’s medical reputation, Massachusetts would be an ideal place to launch and pilot a U.S. version of Savia.
So while Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon, and JP Morgan’s startup, one year in, finally have a name and website for their healthcare company, it appears MAPFRE’s Savia already has a bit of a head start, should it ever did decide to bring a product like this stateside.