Business Travellers and Flu — Time to Act

– Companies expect flu to have more of an impact on business than Ebola

– Individuals advised to have vaccine as flu is predictable and preventable

BEIJING, Nov. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Employees, business travellers and expatriates are being advised to make sure they get vaccinated during the Northern Hemisphere’s flu season.

Influenza (the flu) is one of the most common vaccine-preventable diseases among travellers. It can be mild to severe in nature, and sometimes leads to serious complications.

In many countries it is one of the biggest causes of short term illness. For employers, sickness absence can have a significant business impact.

Flu ‘more likely’ to impact on business than Ebola

A recent survey of leading companies, conducted by International SOS in the United States, has found a large majority (83%) expect the flu to have more of an impact on their business than Ebola in the coming months. The survey canvassed the opinions of more than 300 companies — including many Fortune 500 businesses – that are responding to the Ebola outbreak.

The US Government advises that during each flu season 111 million workdays are lost, costing approximately $7 billion a year in sick days and lost productivity in the US.

To reduce the chances of developing influenza, all travellers should be vaccinated annually. The risk of exposure to influenza depends on the time of year and destination.

  • In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season generally ranges from November through March.
  • In the Southern Hemisphere, most activity occurs from April through September.
  • In the tropics, the risk of exposure exists throughout the year.

Dr Gordon Peters, Medical Director at International SOS North Asia said:

“If organisations are considering a plan to vaccinate staff — now is the time to act.

The vaccine is effective in preventing influenza among healthy adults. Vaccinating a workforce can have a noticeable, positive impact on an organisation’s lost hours due to sickness.

There are many unknown factors that affect business continuity, but flu is predictable and preventable.”

Flu spreads from one person to another through coughing, sneezing and talking. Someone who has the flu may pass the illness to others even before they show signs of being sick and may remain contagious for about a week. People with underlying health conditions, as well as older adults and young children, are at higher risk of severe complications from flu.

Although there are antiviral medications, which are generally used to treat people more likely to get a severe illness, vaccination remains important to prevent flu. Vaccination needs to be repeated annually, as flu viruses change. One year’s vaccine is not necessarily effective against the viruses that will circulate widely the next year.

About International SOS

International SOS (www.internationalsos.com) is the world’s leading medical and travel security risk services company. We care for clients across the globe, from more than 700 locations in 89 countries. Our expertise is unique: More than 11,000 employees are led by 1,200 doctors and 200 security specialists. Teams work night and day to protect our members.

We have pioneered a range of preventative programmes and offer an unparalleled response to emergencies. We are passionate about helping clients put ‘Duty of Care’ into practice. With us multinational corporate clients, governments and NGOs can mitigate risks for their people working remotely or overseas. 

International SOS Unveils Free Ebola App for Mobile Devices

— Available as a free download

— Full access to content

— Maintained 24/7 and reviewed by experienced medical and security professionals

— Outbreak analysis and outlook from the world’s leading medical assistance group

BEIJING, Nov. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — International SOS has released a new mobile app designed to help share its medical and travel information on Ebola.

The free app is now available on iOS and Android devices. It will provide online, instant access to key sections from International SOS’ dedicated Ebola website.

Dr. Gordon Peters, Medical Director for International SOS North Asia said:

The ongoing Ebola outbreak has become a global health emergency where rapid communication of advice and information is absolutely critical. We know people want up-to-date, accurate information as quickly as possible.

They want it from a trusted source. And in today’s multimedia world they want it in their hands wherever they are. We designed this app to try and help meet that demand.”

App features:

  • Latest news and developments on the Ebola outbreak
  • Maps of affected areas
  • Key sections available for offline viewing
  • Content automatically updated
  • Video: Ebola – What business travellers need to know
  • Push notifications send key information to phones
  • Live International SOS twitter feed

The app is part of a wider International SOS communications initiative aimed at supporting the global fight against Ebola.

Organisations in West Africa and beyond are using International SOS’ educational material, which has so far been translated into 21 local languages. Public awareness broadcasts are available and the app includes access to the video: Ebola – What business travellers need to know

The International SOS dedicated Ebola website (www.Internationalsos.com/ebola) has been made freely available to all, removing the normal requirement for membership access. This site currently has around 10,000 visitors a day.

Dr Peters continued:

“Every day we continue to get new calls from our members who have questions on Ebola. These might be calls from organisations with operations in West Africa, or from employees sitting at their desk in China.

These members can get the latest, updated information from us alongside easy access to the key facts. And with our freely available website and now the new Ebola app, the wider public can access this expertise too.”

About International SOS

International SOS (www.internationalsos.com) is the world’s leading medical and travel security risk services company. We care for clients across the globe, from more than 700 locations in 89 countries. Our expertise is unique: More than 11,000 employees are led by 1,200 doctors and 200 security specialists. Teams work night and day to protect our members.

We have pioneered a range of preventative programmes and offer an unparalleled response to emergencies. We are passionate about helping clients put ‘Duty of Care’ into practice. With us multinational corporate clients, governments and NGOs can mitigate risks for their people working remotely or overseas. 

Publication of the Programme for the World Congress on Safety and Health at Work 2014

BERLIN, July 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ —

Top-level guests at the world’s biggest safety & health convention – Day passes now bookable – Information for journalists 

A world without serious accidents at work – this is the vision that will be discussed by politicians, scientists and experts from all over the world at the XX World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, which is taking place in Frankfurt am Main from 24 to 27 August 2014. The emphasis is on such themes as innovation for better occupational safety & health, the promotion of health at work, environment, safety & health, and diversity & inclusion. Companies and organisations are presenting the latest trends and findings on accident prevention. At the simultaneously held International Media Festival on Prevention, films and information products on safety & health are being presented. 4,000 participants from more than 130 countries are expected. A number of celebrities – among them German Federal Minister of Labour Andrea Nahles – have pledged their attendance. Journalists can gain accreditation via the congress website.

Safety & health at work are key elements of sustainability and economic development. According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), more than 300,000 people worldwide lose their lives each year due to accidents at work and more than 2 million due to work-related diseases. It is estimated that about 4 per cent of world gross domestic product is lost due to occupational accidents and work-related diseases.

The World Congress is being held by the ILO and the International Social Security Association (ISSA) together with the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) as the national host. DGUV is the umbrella association of the accident insurance institutions who insure a total of 76 million people in Germany against work- and school-related and commuting accidents and occupational diseases.

Top-level politicians expected 

The congress will focus on prevention strategies like Vision Zero, diversity in the working world, and challenges for health at work. The spectrum of topics ranges from the prevention of psychosocial risks, ageing workforces, job insecurity, new energy sources, materials and nanotechnology to the development of a sustainable prevention culture. The programme can be viewed as of now on the congress website. The dynamic congress planner enables participants to compile their personal programmes. Day passes can now be booked.

Along with experts from science, safety & health, and industry, top-level politicians are expected at the congress – among them Andrea Nahles, German Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Laura Räty, Finnish Minister of Social Affairs and Health, Richard Riot Anak Jaem, Malaysian Minister of Human Resources, and Hawazi Daipi, Parliamentary Secretary of State for Education and Labour in Singapore.

New interactive event formats 

In addition to classical event formats, the congress is also going new ways in presentation: at the “Forum for Prevention”, for example, the latest news from research, and proven and transferable examples of good practices and cooperation will be presented in a kind of market hall. Another highlight is the International Media Festival for Prevention (IMFP), an international competition for the best films and digital media on occupational safety & health. A total of 290 entries from 33 countries are competing for the International Media Award for Prevention. On the outdoor fairgrounds, the Agora, exhibits on traffic safety, among others, will be on show. Immediately after the 2014 World Congress, the trade fair “Arbeitsschutz Aktuell” is taking place at the exhibition centre.

The programme for the 2014 World Congress and information on how to register can be obtained here: http://www.safety2014germany.com

Information for journalists: The diversity of topics covered by the World Congress is not only of interest to safety & health journalists, but those investigating environmental, health, economic and development issues will also find opportunities for broader reporting and research here. For journalists from the fields of health communication and film, the International Media Festival for Prevention offers material and occasions for reporting. Free accreditation is possible via the DGUV press office. Further information can be found here: https://www.safety2014germany.com/en/news/news.html

German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV)
Media relations
Stefan Boltz
Tel: +49-30-288763-768
E-Mail: presse@dguv.de
Fax: +49-30-288763-771
Mittelstrasse 51, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Max Bupa Recognized as ‘Model Insurer Asia of the Year’ for Effective Implementation of Technology Enabled by Newgen

SINGAPORE, July 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Max Bupa Health Insurance has been recognized as the Celent Model Insurer of Asia for 2014, one of the most coveted honour in APAC region, for effective technology usage in insurance. With a strong focus on utilizing technology to deliver the best in class service, Max Bupa is creating a benchmark in the industry through innovative IT practices. Max Bupa’s focus from the time of inception has been to evolve and transform customer experience, by offering exceptional customer service through smart and hassle free processes.

Max Bupa implemented Newgen Software Technologies’ BPM solution to automate core processes like New Business, Claims, Healthcare Provider Enrolment, Agent Licensing, and Renewals. These solutions together enhanced customer experience through improved interactions, and reduced customer response timelines. Newgen’s mobility application ZapIn enabled end to end automation of the highly critical New Business process thus providing a uniform end user experience. Through this implementation, Max Bupa became the first insurer in India to introduce a mobility application into its customer acquisition process.

Commenting on the win, Somesh Chandra, Director – Customer Service, Operations and Technology, Max Bupa said, “It is an honour to be recognized for our technological prowess by Celent. At Max Bupa, we have a strong focus on utilizing technology to deliver the best in class service and a seamless experience to our customers, partners and employees. We have a clear roadmap to ensure our technology implementation maintains a competitive edge and addresses evolving customer needs. The innovative IT solutions by Newgen have helped us streamline and automate our customer facing business processes.”

Puneet Nath Kapil, Vice-President (IT), Max Bupa added, “We needed a solution to bring about overall improvement in terms of process efficiency, SLA adherence and customer engagements. Newgen with its vast domain expertise, robust product platforms and invigorating business solutions helped us significantly improve our customer response rate.”

Diwakar Nigam, MD & CEO, Newgen Software said, “Every implementation we undertake comes with a unique set of challenges. We have, over the years strived to find invigorating solutions to these challenges. Max Bupa’s win is a testimonial of our success.”

Celent is a leading research and consulting firm focused on the application of information technology in the global financial services industry. Max Bupa won this honour amongst the 18 other insurers.

Media contact: Asif Khan, +65-6221-8432, Asif.khan@newgen.co.in