From Idea to Impact: Innovation in Healthcare through KICKBOX

Over the last few years and particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic,  healthcare-related costs across Switzerland have risen at a rapid pace. Currently, the Swiss health-insurance industry is one of the most expensive ones across the globe. The rising costs in healthcare result in constantly rising insurance premiums for users. In fact, in 2024, health insurance premiums are set to rise by over 6 percent on average.

Rising costs are due to a variety of factors, including medical advances, higher life expectancies but also increased bureaucracy since the Swiss healthcare system remains highly regulated by the government. Doctors and healthcare personnel are under a lot of strain due to limited resources. This means that they have less time to attend to the needs of their patients leading to frustration, compromised quality and increased costs.

The KICKBOX Program at CSS

At CSS, one of the leading health, accident and property insurance companies, the mission is to counteract these changes within the industry through investing in innovation and rapid digital transformation. The objective is to enhance convenience and accessibility of health insurance services, while managing the increasing healthcare costs and ensuring greater sustainability of the system, both for consumers and for providers.

In response to this, CSS launched the KICKBOX program in 2019. The KICKBOX program is rready’s flagship product that uses a proven methodology to enable employees to mature their ideas from a concept to a workable solution. The program is accessible to everyone, regardless of their job title and location as well as requiring no prior expertise in innovation.

Throughout three distinct phases (RedBox, BlueBox and GoldBox) employees can validate, test, and potentially implement their ideas. Each phase is completed with a pitch before a jury that decides whether the idea can progress to the next phase of development or not. If the innovator wins over the jury during the final GoldBox phase, he or she is given the change to implement his/her idea within the company.

At CSS, the program has so far yielded several successes within a brief time. According to Daniel Alzer, Investment Manager at CSS, “The KICKBOX program offers a great opportunity to create novel approaches and business models. This, again, can help us develop a more sustainable healthcare system.”


Lejla Baltic presenting her KICKBOX idea to her colleagues at CSS.

Lejla Baltic presenting her KICKBOX idea to some of her colleagues.


Finding Her Dream Job

Lejla Baltic, Specialist in Health Management at CSS, echoes Daniel Alzer’s sentiments. For her, the KICKBOX program has led to her being offered her dream role – which all began with her having an idea and entering it into the KICKBOX program.

While Lejla initially worked full-time within the field of healthcare as a nursing specialist, she understood the drawbacks of the system and was determined to do something about it. With the Covid-19 pandemic Lejla herself struggled with the symptoms of Long-covid. Using KICKBOX, she began initiating the creation of a database to enable customers suffering from Long-covid to access knowledge and help from experts via individualised solutions to enable them to manage their symptoms, as well as learn how to deal with these within their everyday lives.

Following Lejla’s successful completion of the GoldBox phase of the KICKBOX program, she secured a budget of 100.000 CHF to develop her idea further. This amount was donated by CSS to the Altea network – the only existing network for Long-covid sufferers in Switzerland, to establish a strong partnership. Through the experts who are part of this network, Long-covid sufferers have a point of contact that can help them in navigating and managing their diagnosis.

This also meant that a position needed to be created that would facilitate the new partnership between CSS and Altea. Lejla now holds this position and according to her, she has found “her dream role”.

In collaboration with the Altea Long Covid Network, CSS supported the development of the Altea Care App, which was driven and developed by movos AG. This digital tool standardizes the Long COVID diagnosis and contributes to an objective assessment. This not only saves time for both doctors and assessors, it also saves energy for patients, thereby ensuring a more sustainable process.


The Key to Employee-led Innovation

Lejla strongly believes that every company should offer its employees the opportunity to submit ideas via a KICKBOX program. She says that while we as people have tons of thoughts every day, the question is exactly at what point those thoughts become an idea. “This is where KICKBOX helps a lot because with the program, you’re able to validate these thoughts and establish whether it is something worth pursuing or not.”, Lejla says.

One of the unique aspects of the KICKBOX program is the fact that it helps employees to cultivate an innovative mindset. “You realize that there are no problems that do not have a solution and there are no mistakes, only experiences from which one can take learnings. KICKBOX also helps to build perseverance, since as soon as one problem is solved, you encounter the next one which you need to overcome.,” says Lejla.

For Lejla, the KICKBOX program has opened many doors. Not only internally, by stepping into her new role as Healthcare Expert with a focus on innovation, but also in terms of her aspirations. She is currently pursuing her Master of Business Innovation and aims to use this to continue driving change and innovation in the health sector.

Lejla emphasizes that “many large companies are not flexible enough; they need to adapt to the future of work. A job is not necessarily linear, and different people bring different skills to the table, which is why it is important to encourage people to innovate who can then later take on expert roles themselves. KICKBOX helps employees to understand the ambidexterity of a company well. This creates a huge learning effect which is advantageous in every way.”


Enable your team through the KICKBOX program to unleash their creativity and contribute to innovation across the company. Contact us to arrange a free demo today.

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