Great-West digital shift gathering pace

by David Keelaghan17 Nov 2017
It’s Digital Health Week, and Great-West Life is marking the occasion with the launch of a new product. Dialogue is a digital platform that provides integrated health care services for employees. Available over the web or through mobile app, it allows group benefits plan members the chance to speak with a registered nurse or see a physician via a secure video consultation.

Brad Fedorchuk, senior vice-president, Group Customer Experience & Marketing, Great-West Life, explains how the platform provides a different experience for employees.
“The services themselves haven’t changed, but the access point is now through a digital app,” he says. “Plan members can connect digitally with a nurse practitioner who becomes the concierge to help navigate them through their health care issue until it’s resolved. That can be done either digitally or with an offline referral.”

Like most digital offerings across a whole host of different industries, Dialogue is really about convenience. Where it differs from other digital platforms, however, is that the stakes are much higher when it’s a person’s health that’s under consideration.

“The premise is that when something is easier, quicker, more effective, then people are more likely to follow through,” says Fedorchuk.

Great-West began its partnership with Montreal-based tech firm Dialogue in 2016. The insurance giant is in the midst of a company-wide restructuring as it adapts to the digital era. It has made significant progress in that regard, as Fedorchuk explains.

“One of our missions is to continue to invest in innovative solutions,” he says. “A couple of weeks ago we introduced our student debt platform for post-graduate students to pay down debt faster and save for retirement earlier. That’s a digitally-enabled innovation as well.”
This week is all about the Dialogue benefits platform, which is being launched with a one-year pilot among employers in Quebec and Ontario. This also extends to companies in those two provinces with employees based in Alberta, British Columbia and Nova Scotia. It’s a clear sign of Great-West intentions as a company, and there will be further launches before too long, outlines Fedorchuk.

“We are launching another pilot with a company called Best Doctors to help improve health outcomes for those using high-cost prescription medication. There is a lot of innovation going on in the company.”

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