Anthem’s Challenges & Future

Credit Suisse, as part of their “CIO Series” hosted Rajeev Ronanki, Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at Anthem (ANTM)  for a virtual meeting with a small group of investors. At Anthem, Mr. Ronanki oversees, the vision, strategy, and execution of Anthem’s digital Artificial Intelligence (AI) and exponential technology portfolios to enable Anthem to be an AI-first enterprise.

As Mr. Ronanki indicated, COVID-19 has not resulted in much change in Anthem’s technology investments except for the timing of certain solutions. Anthem had a few consumer-oriented offerings slated to be scaled and rolled out more broadly later this fall, however, as the crisis started to escalate, Anthem saw the need to make these solutions available earlier.

As explained Anthem accelerated the launch of the Sydney Care app and made it available nationwide in March. Since the launch, over 250 thousand people have downloaded the app. The app enables the user to triage their own symptoms and if the AI is unable to resolve it, the workflow leads to a text chat or a video with a physician. Then if the problem isn’t resolved, the patient can go to a physical brick and mortar facility.

Anthem offers telehealth services through “LiveHealth Online,, a white-labeled technology powered by Amwell Amwell provides the gateway to all specialties through their white labeling technology. The two companies have been working together for 7 to 8 years in addition to Anthem having an investment in Amwell.

The impact of COVID has affected the use and adoption of telehealth.  At the peak, Anthem was experiencing around a 300% increase in telehealth volume vs pre-COVID levels. Mr. Ronanki notes that the company hasn’t seen much variance between utilization among self-insured versus fully insured employer clients as well as with Medicare and Medicaid populations. Anthem has seen more employer clients who have not previously provided telehealth services for their employees now express interest in rolling out the benefit.

Mr. Ronanki notes that if the user experience with the technology becomes better, more personalized and more insightful with the right marketing and promotions, then the use of virtual health will be able to become widely accepted. However, once elective surgeries come back, hospitals open up, and the economy starts running again, some patients will inevitably go back to seeing physicians in person.

Anthem and Beacon Health Options one of the nation’s largest therapy networks, have also partnered with Psych Hub which provides access to cognitive/behavioral resources, videos, and learning platforms, mental health advocates, and other national health insurers. The plan is to develop a free digital resource site for individuals and care providers to address behavioral health needs resulting from the pandemic.

Anthem’s initiative called “Lifetime Patient Record” (LPR) consists of claims data, clinical data, lab data, and sensor data from devices such as smartwatches, sensors, etc. The company uses claims data from over 70 million people, clinical data from around 10 million people, lab data from around 15 million people, plus a small percentage of device data.

Anthem is looking to integrate genomic data when appropriate with the consumers’ permission while leaving the data in place and just extract the insights which will go into Anthem’s own data sets. Going forward, Anthem’s approach will be less on centralization and aggregation of data. Instead Anthem will leave data in all of the places where it exists, but combine the learnings into an exchange across all datasets and ecosystems.

For more information and to provide feedback, email Jailendra Singh at or call 212-325-8121.

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