More and more individuals use – be it on purpose or unknowingly – devices that track medical and behavioral data, and the cost of such devices is steadily falling, contributing further to their integration into daily life. Mobile applications devoted to health are available by the tens of thousands and are becoming ever more popular, with some exploring the trend of “gamification”, whereby users are rewarded to reach certain targets, like number of daily steps taken.
Life and annuity insurance companies are seeking any and all means to improve business performance in a time of rapid change. Advancements in data and analytics promise to deliver significant improvements in the speed and reliability of decision-making and offer insurers a competitive advantage.
It has been difficult to attend an underwriting conference over the last two or three years without hearing about ‘wearable technology’, ‘personalized health’, ‘wellness programs’ or similar. Alongside these have been discussions about ‘big data’, ‘predictive modelling’ and ‘predictive analytics’, and the potential uses of alternative data sources in the underwriting process for greater accuracy or efficiency.
Observers of John Hancock’s innovative program have focused on data collection, but Vitality shows how the Internet of Things supports the future of the life insurance customer relationship as a high-touch partnership of shared interest in the policyholder’s well-being.
Whether it’s measuring fitness, activity, sleep or even stress levels there is a growing market for fitness wearables and sports trackers that has got our industry thinking about whether the data from these devices can be used to underwrite people; effectively rewarding the fittest, healthiest lives by reducing their premiums.
We hear a lot about wearables these days … smart watches, glasses, fitness trackers, helmets, and a myriad of other smart devices. These wearables incorporate sensors and chips for data collection, real-time analytics, gamification, and other features. But as the use of wearables increases, so do the concerns about security.