SOUTH AFRICA – Financial services group Discovery has announced several new innovations and changes within its Discovery Health portfolio, at its annual product-update event this week, including a Discovery Hospital service and international coverage.
“The golden thread running through the various elements we shared with the financial adviser community and media today, was our focus on personalization of healthcare through digitally-powered processes,” said Dr Ryan Noach, CEO of Discovery health.
He said that the new features, with a particular focus on four ground-breaking areas, will be made available in 2022 on a phased basis.
From January 2022, DHMS members will have access to Discovery Hospital at Home – hospital-level care delivered in a patient’s home for several medical and surgical conditions that would otherwise require admission to the hospital.
“Overall, members are supported by highly personalized care team with skilled clinical staff, clinical protocols and best clinical practices, and appropriate medical scheme benefits,” said Noach.
Qualifying members will also have access to transport services, daily meals to cater for specific dietary requirements, and a 24-hour care giver for elderly members.
Discovery pointed to the emergence of Long Covid trends following almost 20 months of the Covid-19 pandemic, with one in every 10 people who contract Covid-19 experiencing symptoms for longer than three weeks following an acute phase of illness.
“While Covid is not yet fully understood, people across the world who are experiencing prolonged Covid symptoms have reported that they are struggling to manage their symptoms while feeling stigmatized and unsupported,” Dr Noach said.
Discovery Health has partnered with myHealthTeams to provide DHMS members living with diabetes or heart disease and those impacted by Long-Covid, with access to a digital community of patients living with the same illness. This offering will take effect in January 2022, Noach said.
Vitality Health International has also been looped in and will extend Discovery’s footprint into the rest of Africa with launch of “Travel for Treatment” and “International Health Insurance Products”.
From 2022, employers with operations in several African countries will be able to offer their employees living and working in Africa access to healthcare through Vitality Health International.
In 2022, all Discovery Health Medical Scheme members can use Discovery Pay, a platform that promises secure payments between Discovery contacts with just a cellphone number, no matter where they bank, to transact across the healthcare system.
Vitality will extend its ‘three months offer for free’ to members of most medical schemes administered by Discovery Health, including DHMS.