At CES 2019, it was evident just how much technology has changed our perceptions and actions over the last few decades. Twenty odd years ago children were taught to never talk to strangers—let alone get into their vehicles. Fast forward to 2019, and the act of summoning a ride share like Uber or Lyft doesn’t even phase us. Aside from transportation, this shift in consumer behavior has been experienced by nearly all industries as a result of innovation in AI technology. Sessions of particular interest to me discussed innovation in insurance and healthcare, and how this has transformed the customer experience for the better.
The Evolution of Insurance Technology
Although technology has evolved at an alarming pace, the rate at which consumers adopt new smart home systems and insurance IoT has been slower. At CES, we heard many Insurance companies discuss how they are excited about the idea of telematics and an automated claims experience. If society decides to move to a “less-human” experience, we need to remember to re-establish this same kind of connection through more touch-points and proactive communications. The expectation for a personalized experience remains, and any interactions must still provide the opportunity to build the same, or an even better customer/company relationship.
In the panel session, “Insurance, Consumers & IoT – New Business Models”, Jon-Michael Kowall of USAA discussed how one big mistake insurance companies (and those from other industries for that matter) are making is they assume they have all the customer data required. The more data you can collect regarding one customer, the better the experience you can create for them. Companies need to think about combining data to allow it to pour into a central eco-system to support all core areas of their business, including policy, billing and claims.
USAA’s ability to leverage drone technology and customer data has allowed them to create an experience for their policyholders that pro-actively provides support during catastrophic (CAT) events. In the wake of any CAT event, they send drones into the area to fly over homes that may have been affected. The drones will then scan for damage and send out notifications to policyholders before they even think about calling in to submit a claim. They also pro-actively reach out to any potential victims to ask if they need their property to be inspected.
The Transformation of Medical Technology
The medical industry has always been a leader in adopting new technologies and advancements. With the introduction of wearables and robot assistants in hospitals, healthcare is a prime example of how technology can be used to not only support daily operations, but also provide pro-active patient health management.
There are new wearable technology companies popping up on a monthly basis because there are so many new ways to collect health data--and some ways are not as obvious as you would think. Studies have shown that patients or individuals that use wearables have higher compliance. It makes sense—when we have a small device tracking our status, we are accountable and more likely to respond when we get a notification that we are doing something right, or if changes to our daily routine are needed. The opportunities for improved patient experience are endless. Artificial intelligence, in collaboration with wearable devices, can monitor patterns at home for the elderly or people living in rural areas that may not have easy access to medical professionals. Instead of waiting for people to get sick, cities can work with their healthcare organizations to pro-actively notify communities of public health information, education, and provide intervention in the case of epidemics. Even chatbots are becoming more important in the world of healthcare, with patients admitting to being more likely to open up to a “non-human”, anonymous chatbot than a real doctor/physician.
CES was filled with smart devices, driver-less cars, virtual reality games and robots (some even playing ping pong). The big lesson is that society’s comfort level with new and emerging technologies is rapidly increasing—regardless of the industry application. We are becoming more comfortable with non- human interactions while maintaining—and even increasing—our expectations for the humanity of these experiences.
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