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The Drive to Digital Is Changing the Health Insurance Industry


Insurers are expecting broad adoption of wearables by their industry within the next 2 years, according to a report from Accenture.

Insurers are expecting broad adoption of wearables by their industry within the next 2 years, according to a report from Accenture.

The annual Technology Vision report highlights emerging information technology developments that will impact insurance. Accenture also outlined 5 trends that are causing insurers to stretch beyond the boundaries of traditional insurance due to technology.

“While insurers have traditionally based their underwriting and pricing processes on a limited view of certain customer variables, emerging technologies such as wearables and other connected devices can help insurers break from their traditional business models and provide outcome-based services for their customers,” John Cusano, senior managing director of Accenture’s global Insurance practice, said in a statement.

Almost two-thirds (63%) of respondents believe that wearables will be broadly adopted within 2 years, while 31% said they are already using wearables. However, the large amount of data from this technology is challenging. Most insurers are struggling to fully use the existing data. More than half (56%) said managing the data is extremely or very challenging.

The volume of data managed by organizations has grown by 50% or more over the past year, according to 44% of insurers. Those struggling with data will begin to realize that more decisions are made by software and that machines can be entrusted to make these decisions. “Intelligent enterprise” makes machines smarter and will allow insurers to get more value out of big data.

“Companies are starting to recognize the value provided by advances in language processing and speech recognition, which are making it easier for people to interact naturally with technology and machines,” Thomas Meyer, managing director of Accenture’s Insurance practice in Europe, Africa and Latin America, said. “The next-generation insurance company will benefit from human and technology collaboration, with workers leveraging new technologies such as wearables to augment their abilities and help them make better decisions.”

Overall, the 5 trends highlighted by the report include:

  1. The Internet of Me, which is changing the way people interact through technology
  2. Outcome Economic, which is a new business model that shifts from selling things to selling results
  3. The Platform (R)evolution, which reflects how digital platforms are becoming the tools of choice for building next-generation products and services
  4. The Intelligent Enterprise, which is making machines smarter and driving new levels of operational efficiency, evolution, and innovation
  5. Workforce Reimagined, in which advances in human interfaces, wearable devices, and smart machines enables intelligent technology to become a “team member.”
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