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Why payers must embrace wearable tech


Health insurers are well-positioned to take advantage of the rise of wearable technology, Insurance & Technology reported.

The proliferation of wearable technology, such as fitness bands that measure exercise level or heartbeat, provides the type of information health insurers need to drive better health outcomes among members and reduce their risks.

Wearable health devices can make insurers become a more trusted ally to policyholders as well as attract more consumers with incentives and rewards, Celent Analyst Donald Light told Insurance & Technology.

Highlighting the boon for health insurers, global shipments of wearable technology hit 19.2 million this year and should reach 112 million in 2018. An analyst firm predicts a 78 percent spike in annual growth in the next four years as technology jumps off the early-adopter stage and into the mainstream, thanks to consumer use and low price points, FierceMobileHealthcare previously reported.

To succeed with wearbles, insurance companies must have the necessary analytic capabilities and structure to make the most of the data provided by the health devices, Insurance & Technology noted. The massive amount of data being collected on mobile healthcare devices will lead to big data initiatives among payers, providers and device makers.

And while consumers embrace an increasing range of mHealth devices and wearables, concerns about data security and protection of confidential information remain a top priority. Such concerns may be well-founded as a Federal Trade Commission study in May revealed mobile health and fitness applications share user data, including device use information, and personal health and fitness insight, with third-party vendors.

For more:
- read the Insurance & Technology article

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