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Using wearables to monitor injury and recovery: what the insurance and healthcare industries can learn from sport

Injury or subpar performance are risk factors that the professional sports industry spends many millions of pounds/ dollars trying to mitigate. Professional sports teams are starting to use commercially available wearables or their professional versions to monitor not only performance, but the potential for injury, recovery times and lifestyle factors.

With some of these systems upgraded for professional use from commercial models, it begs the question when they are going to be adopted by the insurance and healthcare industries.

If it’s possible to wear a pair of compression shorts to assess muscle efficiency and technique, why not use a similar system to monitor recovery from surgery? Where pro sports teams are asking their athletes to wear devices to monitor their sleep to maximise performance, could the insurance industry use a similar model to assess for fatigue in long-distance drivers to avoid accidents?

These devices and uses are not theoretical, but available to buy now. Adapting their use is easy and cheap. Improving the lives of clients by insuring them at such an individual level provides benefits for both client and insurer. Creating healthcare plans for people you know are coping well with their condition reduces strain on a system that in the UK at least, knows it must innovate to survive the dual pressures of budgetary cuts and an ageing client base.

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