As part of its efforts to support people dealing with social distancing, lockdowns, and isolation during the spread of COVID-19, AXA has expanded its telehealth and online service offerings.
In a statement, the insurer said that it has extended free teleconsultations to approximately 6.5 million people in Asia, including underserved patients in remote, rural areas, with limited healthcare access. AXA said that it plans to extend these services further, especially in Southeast Asia.
Due to the various movement restrictions and large volume of patients in hospitals, demand for telehealth services has increased in order to meet the physical and mental health needs of people. AXA recently partnered with Tencent Trusted Doctors, a major online medical service provider in China, to provide 24/7 access to teleconsultations through a dedicated hotline for AXA customers and employees. According to AXA, the online platform is supported by 450,000 professional medical doctors and psychologists.
The insurer also announced that it will launch a dedicated mental wellness helpline next month, which can be accessed via chat and video on the WeChat platform.
In various markets across Asia, AXA has seen increased usage of its telehealth services, such as in Indonesia, where AXA’s partner Halodoc was among the 20 telehealth providers listed by the government’s virus task force on its website.
In the Philippines, AXA and MyPocketDoctor have extended free medical teleconsultation services to all of the insurer’s life insurance customers and select general insurance clients, reaching around 750,000 individuals. In Thailand, Krungthai-AXA Life offers telemedicine to policyholders currently using services through its partners BDMS network hospitals and Praram 9 Hospital.
“During these anxious times, we want to support everyone’s mental well-being as well as prevent infection,” said Gordon Watson, CEO of AXA Asia. “Our response focuses on ensuring continuity of service amid the disruption, by leveraging telemedicine and digital channels to support customers and patients. Telehealth has proven its essential value, as clinics and hospitals become overwhelmed, and supports social distancing to prevent further infection. A key advantage of telehealth is also its ability to provide care to patients in vulnerable, rural areas, which lack sufficient healthcare access.”
As part of its worldwide support efforts, AXA is also donating to the 101 Fund, which is providing financial support to 1,200 intensive care units in 60 countries, including 100 intensive care units in Asia. To allow its employees to also take part in the initiative, the company has begun a voluntary programme, ‘AXA Hearts in Action’, where colleagues can post a message of support on social media for Fund 101 and, in return, AXA will donate €5 for every post. Employees can also make personal donations.