Wearable technology has made a big splash in the entertainment, health and fitness industries, with an estimated 20 percent of American adults owning such devices and a business already valued at $20 billion last year. Many are already making the case for this growing branch of devices’ potential to revolutionize the workplace and the nature of workers’ compensation.
Zack Craft, VP of Rehab Solutions, LIFE Assessment® and Complex Care Education at One Call Care Management, wrote about the benefits wearables can provide to the workers’ compensation industry in his Insurance Innovation Reporter article, “Wearable Technology in Workers’ Comp: Taking the Great Leap Forward.”
For some time now, wearable technology has largely encompassed personal devices used by individuals to track stats on activities from eating, to working out, to sleeping; but as these technologies continue to advance, the business world has increasingly adopted them, particularly in the workers’ compensation industry.
The stat-tracking devices most common in wearable technology are already in use for monitoring workers post-injury, but there is also great potential for wearables in the prevention of injury as well as treatment. Location trackers, for example, can aid injury prevention by warning employers when workers are in unsafe areas. Other devices designed to provide positive reminders about good posture can help prevent ergonomic-related incidents/claims.
Wearables that may affect treatment of workers currently hold potential in helping with healing and improving quality of life. With more routine injuries, wearables can be used to help workers keep track of regimens and progress in recovery and physical therapy, for example, aiding the healing process while helping keep track of compliance. Recent breakthroughs in exoskeleton technology, meanwhile, aiding those with mobility disabilities such as amputations or paralysis, represent just one of the ways wearables can improve the quality of life for workers who experience a serious accident or injury.
These wearable devices and tools can be instrumental in reducing the overall costs and amount of workers’ compensation claims in the workplace. Whether used for prevention, compliance, treatment, or all three areas, wearables are the new technological wave that can transform workers’ compensation through a healthier, safer workforce, reducing healthcare costs across the board.
As with any new technological development, however, claims managers should be encouraged to seek expert advice on these new devices from specialists and assistive technology professionals (ATPs) to help ensure they choose the most appropriate tools for meeting a worker’s needs.
Technology is best when used properly, and workers’ comp is no exception.
If you’re in healthcare, insurance, technology or other professional services industries, and need help with a PR, marketing or social media campaign, contact Scott Public Relations.
The C-Suite Asks, We Answer: Download our e-book “The C-Suite Asks, We Answer: The Top 6 Questions About Healthcare PR”.
Sign up to receive our monthly advice on healthcare, insurance and technology PR: Scott Public Relations