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Technology in 2025: You Want to Insure WHAT?

There’s a site we go to once in a while to get a fix of cutting-edge  technology. A recent visit  surprised us more than usual, because it cuts close to something we’re working on. We would like to introduce an investigation that involves you.

It started here…

Singularity Hub is the media arm of Singularity University which provides information and resources to organizations using new technology for the benefit of people generally.

It’s a corner of geek heaven, really. And, since the techno-speak is toned down, it is pretty readable for the rest of us.

10 years on…

On May 11, Dr. Peter Diamandis, founder of the X Prize and executive chairman of Singularity University, posted 8 predictions of what we would find ten years from now, in 2025.

As readers of this space might recall, Insurance-Canada.ca has been coordinating a group of colleagues who have been looking at future trends  of insurance and technology, with a 3-10 year horizon.

Se we thought we’d bring these together.  For the next month or so, we’ll take one or two of Diamandis’ predictions and see what the insurance-technolgy implications might be.

We’ll ask your help and reach out to our Insurance 202x Study Group to see what they have to say.

You game for this?  Let’s start with …

#5 Disruption in Healthcare … 

Diamandis’ fifth prediction is “Existing healthcare institutions will be crushed as new business models with better and more efficient care emerge.”

Technology will allow/drive key elements that will shake some fundamentals to the core, e.g.:

  • wearables and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will provide provide more information and greater individualized control;
  • genetic sequencing will make diagnosis/treatment for most diseases straightforward;
  • robotic, autonomous surgery will simplify most operations and dramatically reduce cost;
  • Three-D printing of major organs will eliminate a high percentage of complexities/risks with replacement.

According to Diamandis, players such as “data giants (Google, Apple, Microsoft, SAP, IBM, etc.) will all enter this lucrative $3.8 trillion healthcare industry with new business models that dematerialize, demonetize and democratize today’s bureaucratic and inefficient system.”

Consumers will be a the centre of this hurricane and, each of us could become, in Diamandis’ words,  “CEOs of our own health”.

What will this mean for insurance in Canada?

While the majority of healthcare insurance in Canada is government underwritten, this will still impact private insurers.  On the P&C side, we see several  immediate implications.

First, the cost reductions in health care should flow through to reduced health tax levies on auto insurers from provincial plans. (That’s assuming auto insurance will still exist, what with autonomous vehicles… but that’s for another discussion.)

More significantly, if we see data/robotic organizations entering the diagnostic/treatment space, new forms of liability cover will be required. And, with all the interconnection required, cyberrisk exposure will be almost ubiquitous. Finally, if we are to be our own CEOs, how do we insure our own negligence?

Longer term, these solutions should reduce the risks overall, and, potentially, add even more capacity in the market.  At some point, the cost of risk could fall so far that insurers will look to other investments.  This was part of the message from the Accenture Technology Vision Report recently reviewed in this space.

So what do you think?

We’d like your thoughts in three areas:

First, do you buy into Diamandis’ projections about the destruction of existing healthcare models?

Second, what do you think about the insurance implications? What did we get wrong? What did we miss?

Third, do you find looking at technology directions and taking a stab at the impacts on insurance to be a worthwhile exercise?

Let us know.  The future is waiting …

And while you’re thinking about the future, you might take a look at the program for the 2015 Insurance-Canada.ca Executive Forum (ICEF2015).  We have assembled a faculty which will dissect strategic insurance and technolgy issues with a 3- 10 year horizon. 

 

One Comment

Bryan Bedford

I am not convinced that wearables are all they are cracked up to be — yet. I would guess that more than half of those who have them, stop using them within 6 months so are they really all that effective at changing behavior? Accuracy and integration with a users lifestyle need to improve. What difference does it make if my device tells me I did 8,000 steps yesterday and 10,000 the day before.
Some of these items I would definitely not want to be an early adopter of. The ramifications of something going wrong with robotic surgery or miscalculated genetic sequence make me hesitant to be the first to step forward.
Change will certainly occur, but I’m not sure it will be a wholesale destruction of the current model.

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