Vhi Healthcare mobile health

Vhi Healthcare mobile health assistant app

We created a long-term partnership with Irish healthcare provider and insurer Vhi Healthcare. Together we put their customers at the centre of the innovation process. This case study charts the story of the partnership to create the Vhi Mobile Health Assistant. We created a strategy to assist customers on mobile, launching dual platform native mobile apps with key service developments. Customers who use the app have a higher Net Promoter Score.

Vhi – An established and trusted healthcare brand

Vhi is Ireland’s leading health insurance company and has been meeting the healthcare needs of customers for over 60 years. Vhi has helped generations of people to access the best value, quality private healthcare through an extensive range of healthcare products and services. Vhi’s vision is to help its customers live longer, stronger, healthier lives. Vhi has over one million customers and a 52% share of the Irish healthcare market. Vhi approached ribot because they were keen to make the healthcare experience on mobile simpler and better for their customers. Working with ribot allowed Vhi to innovate with speed, creating a mobile health experience.

How it began

We were approached by Digital Strategy Manager Maeve O’Gorman. Maeve had some excellent research and exciting ideas around the Vhi customer proposition. She was aware that the increasing use of mobile by customers has reshaped their expectations of delivery across all customer experiences. Customer expectations are industry agnostic and Vhi customers were expecting a user experience as good as those they encounter from design-led brands like Google or Amazon. The project itself had a complex group of stakeholders and Vhi needed a partner that understood the potential of mobile technology, could help increase the speed of innovation, simplify delivery and keep the focus customer centric. Maeve chose ribot due to their expertise in delivering customer centric experiences on mobile. We began with a Vision workshop, design sprint and prototype.

Busy customers

Our focus was on making life simpler and easier for busy customers. Vhi wanted to create real value and solve problems customers experience in their busy lives, by delivering an engaging mobile experience that helped ease pain points in the existing healthcare journey. Vhi were able to identify a number of obstacles in the customer journey that could be improved. Customers wanted to be able to seek medical advice from the best experts at their convenience, make instant claims and understand policy benefits easily. Together we created solutions through a process of ideation and design thinking. We used both Vhi research and the ribot design sprint process to ideate and map an improved customer journey. The sprint process is routed in real customer behaviour and we share our understanding of behavioural psychology throughout the process.

Sprint & Prototype

Our first project together was a research phase where the Vhi team shared all of their knowledge of their customers and business. Together we prioritised some key themes for a Vision workshop. The next phase was a Vision workshop, design sprint and prototype. Vhi were able to use the outcome of the first ideation and prototype internally. ribot worked together with the Vhi internal mobile and API teams to help bring the app to life and build the supporting technical architecture. ribot assisted with customer centred design transformation. We ran behavioural insight workshops, advocating agile methodology and helping embed vision sprints and design sprints. ribot supported the Vhi team through the whole process, helping both expand the mobile team within Vhi and ensuring a smooth transition. ribot introduced agile working methods, rapid prototyping and iteration.

Developing a customer experience

Together with the team, we followed an iterative user-centred product design process. The process involved stakeholders from all different disciplines and we encouraged them to ideate with us. We spent time creating storyboards, job stories and wireframes to develop key features that would make the journey simpler for Vhi customers.

Our customers’ lives are increasingly busy, we wanted to deliver a new experience that would solve pain points and allow users to access new services easily on mobile. ribot helped us keep a customer-centric focus throughout the process.”
Maeve O'Gorman, Digital Strategy Manager, Vhi Healthcare
Dual Platform design & development

ribot worked alongside the Vhi team to deliver native mobile apps on two platforms concurrently on iOS and Android, with a quicker speed to market by introducing new agile practices. The apps contained features that allow customers to keep their medical details in one place, gain easy access to the medical team and claim medical costs simply. The app contains all the necessary information that customers seek regularly such as policy name & numbers and cover details. It can also store additional Medical ID information such as blood type and medical conditions. Customers have easy access to their health medical records with one swipe.

Snap & Send

The app allows users to make a claim within just a few mobile taps using the Snap & Send feature. It allows users to snap a pic of their receipt, add brief details of treatment and simply submit. So for instance, a customer that had used a physiotherapist could take a picture of the physiotherapy bill, upload instantly and get paid within a few days.The payment gets transferred directly into their bank.

Keeping well

Vhi is not just an insurer, they provide access to medical experts remotely and in person. The app allows users to contact a nurse using Nurseline 24/7 or contact a midwife using 24/7 midwife service or find the nearest SwiftCare clinic for urgent care.

Hello Doctor

The Online Doctor service allows customers to have a video consultation within minutes with a live Doctor. Users no longer have to take time off work to visit a doctor. For non-emergency cases, they simply check-in via the app, fill out the reason for their visit and payment details, if required. Check-in is seamless using their Medical ID to populate information. An Ireland based doctor will then contact the user via a push notification - usually within 25 minutes of check-in. The user then has a video consultation and afterwards the doctor sends an appropriate prescription to the preferred pharmacy and/or sick note and a summary of the consultation to the user. The online doctor experience is a simple and immediate way for users to get a quick resolution to health issues.


Throughout the process ribot were able to empower the Vhi team with new ways of working and onboard their existing development partners to the project, allowing them to take development back in-house. As well as the testing, ribot co-ordinated and introduced Vhi to analytics partner Measure Lab who worked alongside the ribot and Vhi team. We’ve created excellent remote working practices and were able to work with teams based in several different countries including UK, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, Cayman Islands and Luxembourg. We also placed our team in the Vhi premises using our technical transformation expert James to help everyone work closely together to achieve the overall goal.

What’s next

We’re proud of the initial success of the Mobile Health Assistant app. Vhi have been able to save their members time by shortening the traditional GP consultation time journey, which traditionally involves a 34 hour wait. The Mobile Health Assistant app has transformed this journey by reducing the average wait time to 25 minutes.

75% of claims are now managed via the Snap & Send service.

The Vhi Mobile Health Assistant has secured the No.1 rating in the app store on iOS in the medical category.

It’s already ranked 35 for overall app downloads in Ireland, and was shortlisted for an All Ireland Marketing Award.

The ribot and Vhi partnership continues and we will be looking to continue to innovate with Vhi. Our design team will be working on new sprints to incorporate new ideas and features to the service.