SA-born global health company expands offshore amid Covid-19 lockdown

22 September 2020 Agility Risk Solutions and Knowledge Objects

Local health risk management company opens offshore enterprise during global pandemic

In a ‘baptism by fire’ a South African-born company specialising in strategic health risk management services has successfully launched operations in Singapore, taking locally developed solutions to the South East Asian market in the midst of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

“One might think exporting technology-powered systems to South East Asia is the equivalent of ‘carrying coals to Newcastle’, however, this market is demonstrating a keen appetite for our strategic health consulting and risk management solution,” says Neels Barendrecht, CEO of Agility Risk Solutions.

“With close to two decades of experience in the global market, and having successfully set up operations in other parts of Africa, Australia and the Middle East, expanding our international footprint to Singapore in the form of Agility Risk Solutions was the next logical step. Despite the turbulence of a global pandemic, we were able to successfully establish our latest offshore enterprise and mark our presence in this new territory.

“This is largely thanks to our historic experience in the South East Asian market, combined with years of experience across many parts of the globe that has taught us the importance of always planning for the unexpected.”

The systems being rolled out in Singapore incorporate elements available in the South African market, including Agility’s patented Patient Driven Care™ programme and utilising the artificial intelligence and rule based technology of Knowledge Objects.

Together, these systems deliver the best possible integrated service in terms of benefit management and clinical advice with reference to members’ personal health risk profile. The individual is empowered with practical health advice and access to the most relevant healthcare resources, while their healthcare providers are equipped with valuable clinical information to optimise outcomes.

“There are remarkable parallels and synergies that have sparked off new innovations in the transfer of our healthcare skills, technology and intellectual property for this market. Our launch into this market entailed delivery of health risk management solutions and technology to a leading Singapore health insurance provider with approximately 800,000 customers. Apart from the technology system aspect, the contract also extends to advising on international best practice, norms and standards relating to health risk management,” he says.

The first two modules of the wider health risk management system was launched during the height of the global pandemic when both South Africa and Singapore were in hard lockdown.

According to Barendrecht, the greatest hurdle proved to be international travel restrictions. However, this challenge was overcome with the power of online communications technology and through maintaining close contact with customers and colleagues. “With the six-hour time difference, we needed to ensure 18-hour availability, and the South African and Singaporean teams of Agility worked together symbiotically to effectively cover this extended international working day,” he says.

“The dedication of both the South African and Singaporean teams to make this intercontinental project a success thus far, and under challenging circumstances, has been phenomenal. Having quickly adapted our usual face-to-face training processes to video conferencing and training videos, everyone was able to hit the ground running in a well-orchestrated manner to launch this new chapter.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has illustrated the tremendous importance of innovating and remaining agile to rapidly evolving circumstances. We are proud to offer a service that enables quality care to support health proactively and sustainably, in line with Agility’s commitment to best practice, timeous delivery and our global experience,” Barendrecht concludes.


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