The integration of wearables and insurance

Kelvyn Young, 12 Jul 2017

Wearables are already used in the value chain of some insurers to encourage general fitness. The next generation of wearables will feature medical-grade technology and will open the door to personalised health advice, goals and targeted interventions

Wearables: The current generation

As of the end of 2016, Fitbit had sold 60 million of its products[1]. FitBit is just one player in a crowded market, seeking to set health and fitness goals for many millions of users. Although the initial enthusiasm for many devices may fade, and they may end up in a cupboard, they have made a substantial cultural impact. We are all increasingly aware of the need to be active and to achieve at least the "recognised" 10,000 step daily benchmark.

Source: IDTechEx 2016

Fitbit and similar devices remain at consumer grade. They measure physical activity – and while everyone may agree, physical activity is a good thing, 10,000 steps is in no way a scientific measure. It could be that individuals need specific targets based on their physical attributes to improve their health benefits. The next challenge for wearables is to give more personalised advice based on more granular data of vital medical signs.