The advancements in wearable tech are changing more than just the ways we can update our Facebook status. With a projection of over 250 million wearables in use during 2018, wearable technology has even made its way into the health insurance field, making changes in everything from how a doctor’s visit is run to how health insurance is assessed and provided.
Doctors who use wearable technology are able to measure more accurately the important things like heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and even breathing patterns. With more accurate doctors appointments, patients understand a more detailed look at their overall health. While this is great for many reasons, one of them is that they can deliver this message to their health insurance provider.
Wearable’s are making their way into everything from yoga clothing to even contact lenses. As developments continue in the wearable tech industry, we can expect to see it make its way further and further into health. Here are four ways that wearable technology is changing the landscape of insurance and health.
Better Insurance Rates
Because wearable data, on both the doctor and the patient side, can read more accurately how the healthy the individual is, it is likely that insurance rates will become more detailed and accurate.
Prior to wearable data, the only way to determine that an individual was in good physical condition was to get the confirmation from their doctor. While a doctor’s approval is always important, the use of wearable technology can tell an insurance company just how active and healthy that individually is without needing to step in a doctor’s office.
Some insurance companies are giving a wearable fitness band to new policyholders to track the number of steps an individual takes every day and their heart rate. This information is collected and evaluated to give a more accurate insurance rate to the individual, and nearly 2/3 of insurance executives believe to see wearables in the insurance industry soon. The wearable industry is also working on collecting health information so that it can accurately diagnose medical ailments like diabites or arthritis without ever having to visit a doctor.
Rewarding Healthy Patients
When an insurance provider can track this additional information and the individual can show their insurance provider they are making their best effort to remain healthy, a good effort can be rewarded.
One way of setting up a rewards program between and individual and insurance provider is to set health milestones that can be measured through wearable technology. When the tech measures that the milestone has been met, the insurance provider gives the individual their prize.
Rewards can be anything from actual, physical prizes, gym reimbursement, entering into a larger drawing for trips or other large gifts, or even something as simple as shedding a bit of money from the insurance premium that they pay.
Creating Personalized Insurance Plans
A personalized insurance plan would allow individuals to receive an insurance plan just for them. This would take a look at genetic factors or the threat of the individual contracting a particular disease, like cancer. Google has mentioned that it plans to develop technology that can detect cancer or heart attack before they ever occur. This idea may not be in the near future, but it is definitely something that would change the way insurance is distributed.
In all insurance industries, individuals have a difficult time understanding how much they should pay and what their plan consists of. If we are able to reach the point where personalized insurance plans are a common occurrence, individuals will no longer need to worry that they are paying too much in insurance or if they are not covered in the event of an emergency.
More Thorough Research
With 31% of Americans already sporting a wearable, wearing a piece of wearable technology can track an individual’s lifestyle habits, health information, and if they are on track to living a healthy lifestyle. Before the introduction of this kind of tech, insurance underwriters did not have access to the day-to-day choices the individual makes.
The implementation of wearable tech could give insurance underwriters a much more detailed look at how the individual is living and if their insurance plan is still right for them. This could show that the individual is actually too healthy for such an extensive plan, or that they may be making poor choices and their premiums will go up. Both sides would encourage the individual to live a more healthy lifestyle.
With advancements in satellite internet powered wearable technology always increasing, it is very likely we will see it making its way into almost every aspect of our life. For the health world, this means getting more and more specific about our ailments and illnesses, and hopefully reaching the point where we can discover cancer chiropractic needs, heart attacks, or other life threatening conditions before they happen.
Advancements in technology also means we are getting closer and closer to receiving insurance plans that are tailored specifically to us. With wearable technology moving forward and developing the ability to gather better, more detailed information, we can stop worrying about if we are paying too much for insurance and understand how our health directly correlates to the amount we pay when we compare life insurance.