Private insurance industry’s plan to keep up with new technology
Private insurance companies are bracing for the threat of new technology that could render their own data useless.
They’re planning to keep pace with the growing digital world, with a range of devices including smartphones, wearables and the internet of things, as well as the growing threat of hackers who can steal their data.
As a result, they’re turning to a new source of data to help them keep up: the personal health records of their employees.
But a growing number of private companies, including Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealth Group, are also looking to take advantage of new technologies that could disrupt their business models and even threaten their profits.
For example, some insurers are using artificial intelligence to analyse their data to create new insurance offerings, and a company called T2 is building an AI-powered cloud for personal health information.
Others, such as Aetahive, are taking advantage of technologies such as the blockchain, which allows anyone to record and share the contents of a blockchain, or digital ledger.
The growing use of the blockchain and artificial intelligence are prompting some insurers to look at ways to adapt to the new technology.
“Our business model is based on our data,” said Rob Roesel, chief executive officer of Aetanet.
“The new technology allows us to take that information and put it into a new business model.
We think the business model will evolve and we’ll have to adapt.”
Aetna and Humana already operate using blockchain technology to help administer their insurance business, while Aetahanet is using artificial-intelligence and blockchain technology for their medical records.
And in 2017, Anthem acquired a startup called HealthSnap that offers a blockchain-based service to provide personal health data, which is a move that could open up new avenues for Aetana, Humans and other insurers to use the blockchain.
The trend is also evident in other sectors, including the insurance industry, which has been investing heavily in blockchain technology in recent years.
In 2017, the US Department of Health and Human Services launched the National Cybersecurity and Information Infrastructure Security Strategy to build cybersecurity capabilities into healthcare.
That strategy, which also calls for improving the ability of insurers to access customer data, has prompted insurers to explore blockchain technology as a way to integrate new cybersecurity tools into their systems.
In the future, the insurance sector will also need to look to new sources of data.
It has already found new ways to gather and analyse its own data, and that could lead to the introduction of data-stealing technologies, said Roeselsaid.
For now, insurers are preparing for the possibility of data breaches, such when hackers steal patient or family data.
But in the future they’ll need to be more proactive about monitoring their own systems and ensuring their data is safe, he added.
“It’s a good thing to have data in your system,” said Riesel.
“But the data will become obsolete over time.
It’s going to be like you’ve got your phone in your pocket and all of a sudden you find it stolen.”
The ABC has contacted the insurers who are participating in this story for comment.