VIGO Health, launched in 2021, offers a new way for people to access fast healthcare for their everyday needs through a combination of strong digital healthcare solutions and cash benefits. Between them, the founders have over 40 years of experience in the health insurance industry. They recognised that there was a need for broad health benefits coupled with excellent service specifically for people that did not have hospital insurance. The VIGO Health solution was developed based on in-depth research to understand the needs of people who had chosen not to have hospital insurance but who want a healthcare solution that is more relevant to their needs.
The Role of Digital in Accelerating Change in Health
Ireland has seen an ever-expanding cluster of new digital health start-ups enter the market in the last 2 years.
The rate of accelerated growth and customer adoption in digital health has been exponential and only made possible due to the existing tech eco system. Most of the world’s top technology companies (Microsoft, Google, Salesforce etc) have major operations here in Ireland and we are one of the most connected, well-educated and innovative countries in the world. We also have a strong presence in fields such as Medical Technologies, ICT, and Pharmaceuticals/Biopharmaceuticals, so our ever-expanding cluster of new innovative digital health SMEs is a natural evolution.
Finding smart, innovative and sustainable ways to improve healthcare in Ireland has appeared impossible, as highlighted by recent controversies surrounding Slaintecare, however the implications for getting in right are critical. Making healthcare affordable and accessible to improve health outcomes is in everyone’s interest. A healthy digital health ecosystem is also healthy for our economy, within a global digital health market valued at over 100 billion (USD) this year.
Collaboration Enabling Growth
Grounding breaking innovation in healthcare is not just the remit of both the Public Sector. There’s a real shift towards toward both public and private working more collaboratively to redefine traditional health care models to find new pathways to sustainability and efficiency.
Patients are now more discerning and proactive around their own health needs and using services that they would have never considered pre-pandemic. Virtual healthcare has been normalised in no small part to the pandemic. From the start of 2020 to the end – Ireland witnessed a 5-fold increase in the use of telemedicine. And while there’s no doubt that COVID-19 accelerated this adoption of digital health services by several years, digital health is here to stay.
Digital health companies are providing apps, platforms, tools and services, all resulting in an entire industry rethinking how it interacts with customers.
Digital health isn’t just about virtual consultations – it’s the customer experience at every touchpoint. From rapid referrals, to a faster diagnosis, your prescription delivered to your door, all while minimising the pressure on other vital primary care and emergency facilities.
The Role of Technology
Incremental improvements can have a positive effect on the user experience. Our customers can WhatsApp a doctor, ask a doctor a question online and get a response instantly. It’s nothing dramatic from a technological perspective, but using existing technologies in a health context will improve the customer experience.
One of our goals is to translate the benefits that technology brings to other industries and apply them in a health context.
Then there is MedTech innovation. 24-hour blood pressure monitors, medical devices for checking out moles for early skin cancer detection, at home testing for added privacy, online access to mental health platforms. All brilliant innovations to enhance everyday health and wellbeing.
Challenges & Opportunities Ahead
Digital health also holds challenges. Cyber security, universal medical records, secure sharing of medical files are just a few, facing the industry. However, there is a level of excitement about how these new start-ups can collaborate to resolve these issues.
As CEO of VIGO Health, a new player in the market offering more affordable Health cover and digital connectivity to younger people, I am optimistic and excited for our future in this exciting and vibrant industry.
Apple Watch Promotion
VIGO Health is undertaking some research with leaders of Irish SMEs and start-ups, regarding the role of digital health platforms in managing employee health and wellbeing. VIGO Health is offering readers a chance to win an Apple Watch.
To be in with a chance of winning, please complete this survey
Please note that terms and conditions apply.
VIGO Health will also make a €5 donation to Women’s Aid in recognition of your valuable time for completing this (2 min) survey.