In Focus: Megatrends  

The digital revolution must involve building technology with a heart

Sirma Boshnakova

Sirma Boshnakova

It can be achieved, we’ve found, and we already see it every day. We have smart watches that can predict a heart attack ahead of time, apps that can track your diabetes and heart problems and issue warnings when something requires attention.

But businesses must feel the urgency to leverage the advantages of 5G and the 'internet of things' and work together to establish the new standards required for interoperability.

Consumer demand

Consumers expect access to services regardless of the device they’re using – whether it be via Alexa, in their home or their car.

Imagine being a customer wishing to make a claim while sitting in a car, using an iWatch or Alexa, only to realise that the insurance company isn’t equipped to handle the request.

Customers are demanding access to more services through more channels and devices than ever and we need to deliver that for them.

Moreover, 5G-powered IoT will strength our ability, as an industry, to predict and prevent. Imagine a rental car detecting an accident just ahead and breaking on time to avoid an accident.

And as the car gets you safely to your hotel, you’re connected to a travel booking platform and your hotel is informed of your late arrival. Your dinner reservation is then rebooked to a later time, with a friendly confirmation appearing on your iWatch.

If businesses don’t build these standards together, and don’t collaborate more closely, the risks are enormous.

This is the future: the best of technology blending seamlessly with the best of the human race to produce the most accessible, empathetic and effective services in a borderless world.

Should another pandemic occur, it’s imperative that we be ready to apply the key learnings of these past two years.

And the most important of all the takeaways for me is the need for insurance to endorse its greater societal role to infuse a more caring and human feel into the technology we’re building.

Sirma Boshnakova is chief executive of Allianz Partners