Two major technology trends will shape the future of health insurance

Wearable tech, big data poised to usher in era of more personalized insurance

With 2014 drawing to a close, the health insurance industry has its eyes set on 2015 and beyond. This past year focused on trends throughout the industry--namely, the use of technology.

Big data and wearable tech, among other things, have the capacity to revolutionize health insurance, reports LifeHealthPRO. Listed below are two major trends to look for in 2015 and beyond, according to the article.

Wearable tech

More than 90 million wearable-tech devices--like Google Glass, Nike FuelBand and Fitbit Flex--shipped in 2014, notes the article. Come 2017, both the sports and health industries will use some 170 million of these devices, according to ABI Research.

But to succeed with wearables, insurance companies must have the necessary analytic capabilities and structure to make the most of the data provided by the health devices, FierceHealthPayer previously reported. 

The news about this trend bodes well for insurers who hope to engage their members. Consumer interest in purchasing dedicated wearable fitness devices sometime in the next 12 months quadrupled to 13 percent in 2013, from just 3 percent in 2012. One insurer is ready to make that leap--New York-based Oscar Health will give members a free fitness tracker in 2015 and reward members who achieve their fitness goals--and others are bound to follow suit.

Personalized insurance

For those who are slow or unwilling to adopt technology, consider this: Technology will help humans live longer and healthier lives, notes LifeHealthPRO.

Technology also will be able to produce more data, which will help identify risk, determine solutions and monitor results. These capabilities will, in turn, enable payers to focus on personalizing insurance, which is something that has not been possible until now.

It's plausible that, in 5-10 years, online search engines will be able to inform us about new research that's relevant to an individual's health issues, predicts Ray Kurzweil, a world-renowned scientist and inventor, according to the article. Instead of group rates, consumers could receive individualized rates based entirely on digital health data they've uploaded to the cloud.

For more:
- here's the LifeHealthPRO article

Related Articles:
Oscar Health to give members free wearable fitness trackers
Why payers must embrace wearable tech
mHealth data integration will drive big data strategies for providers, payers
Big growth spurt ahead for wearables as consumer use keeps growing

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