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    The general evolution of technology has been developing and advancing at a relatively rapid pace, especially in relation to the previous few decades. As technology advances and we have increased access to virtually unlimited information at our fingertips through smart phones and computers, the healthcare industry is taking note and following suit. Specifically, the workers’ compensation industry and casualty insurance companies are benefiting from many innovative forms of technology.

    An Insurance Journal article from February 22, 2017, highlighted the viewpoints of Tom Ryan from Marsh’s Workers Compensation Center of Excellence. Ryan identified several ways that the workers’ compensation industry could benefit from the use and adoption of various forms of technology.

    Technological devices that are easily wearable, such as a watch, have the potential to impact the industry in a variety of ways. Staff members of a home health care agency could immediately receive alerts for significant changes in vital signs of workers’ compensation claimants, for example. This type of technology could also function as a sort of tracking mechanism to ensure the staff are safe and attending to the appropriate claimant locations, providing more efficient and effective service for claimants and therefore saving money for the insurance company administering these claims.

    Additionally, wearable technology could be utilized within the workplace to enhance safety and ultimately reduce the amount of employee injuries. Ryan’s article states that companies in the construction industry may consider providing safety gear for employees that incorporates technology to alert them to a potentially hazardous situation through flashing lights or other attention-getting tactics.

    Once these forms of wearable technology are embraced within a workplace, the potential for reduced incidents falling under the umbrella of workers’ compensation claims is significant. If employees working in a highly dangerous workplace are required to wear technology that alerts them to situations that could cause injury, they may be better able to avoid the injury altogether. This is beneficial not only to the employee, but also to the employer and to that employer’s insurance company.

    In addition to the early adoption of preventative technology, insurance companies can further reduce the cost of workers’ compensation claims by partnering with a third-party administrator (TPA) of these claims. Northwood is a highly trusted and experienced TPA of workers’ compensation and automobile insurance claims and partners with insurance companies to reduce costs, increase claimant satisfaction and reduce administrative burdens on estimators.

    Northwood’s network of credentialed providers is accessible to the insurance carrier and its examiners, instantly providing access to reduced costs on home health care services. When an insurance carrier chooses to partner with Northwood, they not only reduce their claim-related costs but also contribute to claimant satisfaction. For more information about Northwood and workers’ compensation services, please contact Northwood/Rosanne Brugnoni at 586-755-3830 ext. 3771 at your earliest convenience.

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