Should insurance companies care about the discovery of systemic racism and gender bias in medical devices?
“Last year, I went to a UX conference where one of the topics was ‘Discrimination in the healthcare sector’. The problem raised during the talk was the discovery of systemic racism and gender bias in medical devices. The example they gave related to an oximeter, which research suggests works less well for patients with darker skin.
Working at an insurance company with many health insurance customers of varying gender and skin color, I began to wonder whether this is something we should care about and take responsibility for. Of course, we are not to blame for the inadequate testing of medical devices on a narrow user segment, however, do we not have a responsibility to ensure that the partners that we collaborate with e.g. to service a health insurance customer such as private hospitals, are made aware of these issues and take notice of them when treating our insurance customers?
From a UX perspective, I believe the issue with biased medical devices can jeopardize the customer experience, and the customer relationship altogether. Thus, I would argue that we should care about this invisible and unintended discrimination that becomes the consequence. In the end together with our partners, we are the ones responsible for the customer experience.”
Bettina Høiler has a Master’s degree Service Systems Design from the University of Aalborg in Copenhagen, and a Bachelor’s degree in International Hospitality Management from Copenhagen Business Academy. She currently works as a senior UX and Service Designer at the Danish insurance company Alm. Brand Group, where her focus is on designing great customer experiences and employee processes within the claims area. Bettina has experience working with design in all parts of the financial industry (banking, insurance, and pension), as well as in consultancy. Her passion for people and for helping them – for instance by providing great customer experiences – is what led her into the field of UX and Service Design.
Fun fact: Her favorite design tool is the Service Blueprint.
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