Frederik Bisbjerg, Chief Transformation Officer, AXA – Global Healthcare & Head of MENA, Digital Transformation Specialist, Digital Insurer

Frederik Bisbjerg is a highly respected international business developer with expertise in digital transformation and business model innovation. His proven and numerous successes with worldwide business transformations come from his belief in enabling and empowering people to execute the change strategies.

Currently, Frederik is a Chief Transformation Officer with AXA Global Healthcare, and further holds the position of Head of MENA and Digital Transformation specialist with the Digital Insurer, the world’s largest knowledge base on digital insurance with more than 35,000 active members. With The Digital Insurer, he is part of the World’s first mini-MBA in Digital Insurance, where he lecturers on the topics of Strategy and Transformation, Big Data, and Best Practice Tech Architectures.

In an exclusive interview with Digital First Magazine, Frederik shared his insights on the key benefits of digital transformation in the healthcare industry, his career trajectory, success mantra, pearls of wisdom and much more. The following excerpts are taken from the interview.

According to you, what are the key benefits of digital transformation in the healthcare industry?

Digital transformation in the healthcare industry offers a wide range of benefits that improve patient care, streamline operations, and enhance overall efficiency. Here are some key benefits:

Improved Patient Care and Outcomes

Digital transformation allows for better patient data management, leading to more accurate diagnoses and treatment plans. Electronic health records (EHRs) enable healthcare professionals to access patients’ medical histories, test results, and treatment plans quickly and securely, leading to better-informed decisions and coordinated care.

Enhanced Communication and Collaboration

Digital tools facilitate seamless communication among healthcare providers, including doctors, nurses, specialists, and even patients. This improves care coordination and reduces the chances of errors due to miscommunication. Telemedicine and virtual consultations enable remote patient care, particularly beneficial in rural or underserved areas – just look at China’s more than 2,000 internet hospitals.

Efficient Data Management

Digital transformation enables the collection, storage, and analysis of vast amounts of healthcare data. This data can be used to identify trends, patterns, and potential outbreaks, leading to more effective disease prevention and management strategies.

Personalized Treatment Plans

With access to comprehensive patient data, healthcare providers can create personalized treatment plans based on individual medical histories, genetics, and lifestyle factors. This approach can lead to more effective treatments and better patient outcomes.

Reduced Administrative Burden

Automation of administrative tasks, such as appointment scheduling, billing, and insurance claims processing, reduces the administrative burden on healthcare staff. This allows them to focus more on patient care and less on paperwork.

Cost Savings

Digital transformation leads to significant cost savings by streamlining and automating processes, reducing the need for physical storage of paper records, minimizing manual data entry errors, and improving overall operational efficiency.

Enhanced Patient Engagement

Digital platforms provide patients with access to their health information, enabling them to actively participate in their own care. Patient portals, mobile apps, and wearable devices empower patients to track their health metrics and communicate with healthcare providers more effectively.

Regulatory Compliance

Digital systems can help healthcare organizations adhere to regulatory requirements and security standards for patient data privacy and protection, such as HIPAA in the United States.

With disruption and transformation being everywhere, what are the challenges you see facing your sector right now? How can we overcome those challenges?

Implementing digital transformation in the insurance industry is a complex endeavor due to a variety of challenges we face. These challenges comes from factors like legacy IT systems, organizational silos, bureaucratic processes, and a culture resistant to change.

Most insurers have built their IT infrastructure over several decades, resulting in a complex web of legacy systems that may be outdated, inflexible, and difficult to integrate with modern digital solutions. These systems can hinder the adoption of new technologies and impede the seamless flow of information across the organization.

Adding to this, insurance companies have departments that work in isolation, creating silos that prevent effective collaboration and communication. Digital transformation requires a holistic approach that breaks down these silos to enable cross-functional teams to work together on projects and initiatives.

We are – and have historically been risk-averse and slow to adopt change due to concerns about potential disruptions to existing processes. Typically, you’ll face a culture that values stability and predictability over innovation and agility. Convincing employees to embrace digital tools and methods can be challenging in such an environment.

Transitioning to a digital-focused organization requires a workforce with the necessary digital skills and expertise. Many employees, especially those who have been with the company for a long time, often lack the skills to effectively use and leverage new technologies, and this leads to resistance from stakeholders, including senior leadership, employees, and even customers. They resist digital transformation due to concerns about job security, usability, or changes to familiar processes.

And then of course, the return on investment. While digital transformation can offer significant long-term benefits, the initial investment required for technology adoption and implementation may not always have an immediate, clear return on investment. Convincing stakeholders of the long-term benefits can be challenging.

Frederik, please tell us about yourself and your background. How did you get into the digital transformation space?

Since the beginning of my career, I’ve been working with business transformation – that’s more than 25 years ago now, and over time business transformation simply turned into digital transformation as the transformation tools became increasingly digital.

You are also the Head of MENA, Digital Transformation Specialist at Digital Insurer. Can you please tell us about this unique platform and your role in it?

TDI ‘s purpose is to help individuals & companies across the industry explore, learn, and deliver digital, for the benefit of insurance professionals, their employers, the broader industry, insurance customers and society as a whole. I’m proud to be part of a community of more than 40,000 insurance professionals, coming together to accelerate digital insurance.

I was part of launching the World’s first mini-MBA in digital insurance in 2019, and I am still lecturing there, and taking active part of the many interesting and relevant activities around digital insurance – I strongly urge readers to visit the website and sign up for a free membership. It’s definitely worth it! The Digital Insurer – The World’s Largest Digital Insurance Platform (

In your opinion, what are the imperative qualities that our forward-looking leaders must adopt to transform businesses for the future?

Forward-looking leaders must possess a set of imperative qualities to successfully guide their organizations through transformation for the future. Adaptability stands as a cornerstone, as leaders need to embrace change and be open to new ideas, technologies, and paradigms

Strategic vision is equally vital. future leaders must possess a clear understanding of where our industry is headed and how their organization can capitalize on emerging opportunities

As mentioned earlier, silos are critical issues in changing organizations, so leaders must bridge silos and promote cross-functional teamwork. The ability to communicate a compelling narrative is essential; leaders must convey the “why” behind transformation initiatives to rally employees around a shared purpose

Empathy is a driving force. Forward-looking leaders understand that transformation involves people, and they prioritize the well-being and growth of their teams. They empower employees by providing learning opportunities and recognizing their contributions.

Lastly, ethical leadership underpins success. These leaders must navigate complex ethical dilemmas, ensuring that their transformation efforts consider societal, environmental, and cultural impacts.

What, personally, has allowed you the success you have had in the role of a digital transformation leader?

I believe it’s my curiosity about how things work and my true passion for bringing people along the ‘ride of change’. I’m also able to explain complex problems in a way that the entire workforce understands, making it easier to create a compelling vision for change – this also enables me to make especially senior leadership understand better the digital drivers of change, and why it need not be as complex and expensive as they might think

What are your passions outside of work?

I’m passionate about taking the whole family off-roading in the deserts surrounding Abu Dhabi – we have the largest sand desert in the world, ‘The Empty Quarters’, and it’s exhilarating to bring our dune buggies there, camp, and have fun driving around and enjoying the quiet and grandness of the outdoors – as a quite opposite, I enjoy scuba-diving with me wife, too, so it’s quite two different kinds of adventures.

Personally, I love to keep fit doing Thai Boxing which I’ve been doing for more than a decade now – I like the intensity of the sport and the fact it keeps my (ageing) body strong and flexible.

One word that best describes how you work.

I believe in ‘success by design.’

What is your biggest goal? Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

Ask me in 4.9 years from now… 😉

What would your advice be to other leaders who are about to embark on similar journeys of business transformation?

Be ready to face tremendous resistance – as head of transformation, you’ll be the embodiment of change, which the fewest people like to ‘put onto them’. Prepare for the resistance and do all you can to engage and motivate the teams to join you on the journey – but you also need to be ready to make some tough calls and have open and direct conversations with the people that simply don’t want to change.

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