China’s First AI Voice-Based Virtual Health Assistant for Insurers Launched

Award-winning Health Insurtech startup The CareVoice launched an artificial intelligence based solution as part of its mobile-based and data-driven solution for insurers.

Julien de Salaberry, CEO and Founder of Galen Growth Asia, the Asia HealthTech ecosystem connector and builder, caught up with Sebastien Gaudin, CEO & co-founder of The CareVoice, in Amsterdam last Friday, at the Digital Insurance Agenda 2018 conference.


GGA: Sebastien, congratulations on the launch of the first AI voice-based virtual health assistant for insurers in mainland China. Could you tell us why The CareVoice selected Sensely as a partner? Were there no viable Asia based partners?

After an extensive global evaluation process, we decided to partner with Sensely, a US-based technology company. Sensely has a unique technology: it is the only Avatar based offering oral conversation with its virtual health assistant for symptom checking. And most importantly, it’s technology is well backed by medical evidence, positive user experience, and with full support from NHS in the UK. The solution has already shown reduction of consumption of call line and medical visits leading to significant savings. Finally, Sensely is partnering with Mayo Clinic, a leading US-based hospital, and has integrated Mayo Clinic’s triage algorithm and medical expertise to provide the most trustable health guidance and information, leading to more appropriate diagnosis and treatments.

The recent partnership between Tencent and Babylon, a British telehealth company, competitor of Sensely, to enter the Chinese market is also demonstrating the gap for local Chinese players. Nevertheless, it is great to see, and we hope this type of partnership will become a major trend.


GGA: Why will using a virtual assistant create a more “consumer-centric experience”?
We understood that enabling our members to address health issues digitally has become a critical aspect to continue improving their health journey. Thanks to our AI voice-based virtual health assistant, our members can easily check their symptoms and obtain medical advice 24/7. The discussion with our virtual health assistant is friendly as she is emotionally trained, and it is obviously warmer than interacting with a chatbot. Thus, it is really convenient for our members to use and can prevent unnecessary consultations by empowering self-care. Our virtual health assistant can also guide them towards relevant medical professional speciality for consultation if needed.


GGA: We note that AXA Lab Asia is cooperating with The CareVoice to bring the solution to their AXA-Tian Ping insurance members. So, what are the benefits of this new solution to insurers?


First of all, by creating a more consumer-centric experience, our virtual health assistant supports insurers willing to become true health partners to their insurance members. It also generates efficiencies and cost savings by avoiding unnecessary consultations and directing members to more relevant and cost-effective medical providers. Integrating Sensely’s leading technology into a unique mobile experience for insurance members through The CareVoice SaaS Solution for insurers is really increasing the value of our two companies’ solutions.

Considering each insurance member’s profile for instance, we can now synchronize our data to generate insights and information for insurers, including also a follow-up call with a doctor or an online/offline consultation. There is a natural fit between Sensely and The CareVoice as, after obtaining medical advice from the virtual health assistant, insurance members can easily get independent recommendation of high quality and cost-effective providers from CareVoice SaaS Solution for insurers.


GGA: Your new solution is a first for mainland China. What specific China health system pain point will your solution solve?


Healthcare in China has not yet been successfully transformed. Big public hospitals are still delivering poor healthcare experience with a significant queuing time and the access to medical resources remaining limited and difficult. Thus, our virtual health assistant, by giving our members access to medical advice and pre-diagnosis 24/7, even at home and without any waiting time, is a kind of a revolution in their patient’s journey. To solve that issue, China government has also been promoting self-medication" and "family doctor" to better utilize the hospital resources, and we do think that our virtual health assistant will serve that cause too.

We shouldn’t forget that there is an important mistrust of Chinese consumers when talking about healthcare. By having a solution backed by the world’s leading medical institutions, we believe that we can create confidence and solve that trust issue. Finally, our virtual health assistant speaks and recognizes Mandarin, and soon also Cantonese! It was also a key element when we decided to partner with Sensely as voice-based conversation is really popular through WeChat nowadays.


GGA: Many thanks for your time Sebastien and congratulations to you and The CareVoice team.

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Interviewer: Julien de Salaberry

© Galen Growth Asia 2018

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