The insurance industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by digitalization, personalization, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things, and cybersecurity in insurance documentation and data analytics, predictive risk assessment, fraud detection, and smart policy management. In the last three years alone, there have been over 17,000 patents filed and granted in the insurance industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Artificial intelligence in insurance: smart health risk assessment. Buy the report here.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

20+ innovations will shape the insurance industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the insurance industry using innovation intensity models built on over 70,000 patents, there are 20+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, underwriting AI, predictive risk analysis, and insurance documentation AI are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Insurance fraud detection AI, smart policy management, and smart vehicle damage assessment are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas is automated weather forecasting, which is now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for artificial intelligence in the insurance industry

Smart health risk assessment is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Smart health risk assessment AI refers to the use of advanced technologies, such as machine learning and wearable devices, to evaluate an individual's health condition and determine their risk of developing certain health conditions or diseases. By analyzing biometric parameters, health attributes, and genetic data, smart health risk assessment systems can generate personalized health scores and provide valuable insights into an individual's overall health status. Life and health insurers use smart health risk assessment AI to optimize underwriting risk management and customize insurance policies to the specific needs of individual customers.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 210+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established insurance companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of smart health risk assessment.

Key players in smart health risk assessment – a disruptive innovation in the insurance industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.  

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to smart health risk assessment

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Taikang Insurance Group 57 Unlock Company Profile
Expanse Bioinformatics 52 Unlock Company Profile
Oracle 49 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 46 Unlock Company Profile
Omron 43 Unlock Company Profile
Hi.Q 36 Unlock Company Profile
Theator 34 Unlock Company Profile
UnitedHealth Group 33 Unlock Company Profile
23andMe 27 Unlock Company Profile
The Allstate 26 Unlock Company Profile
Ping An Insurance (Group) 25 Unlock Company Profile
The Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation 25 Unlock Company Profile
Humana 24 Unlock Company Profile
SomaLogic 23 Unlock Company Profile
CVS Health 23 Unlock Company Profile
The Hartford Financial Services Group 23 Unlock Company Profile
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 20 Unlock Company Profile
Swiss Re Asia Pacific 19 Unlock Company Profile
DAYA Medicals 16 Unlock Company Profile 16 Unlock Company Profile
Swiss Re 15 Unlock Company Profile
Clarify Health Solutions 15 Unlock Company Profile
Verisk Analytics 13 Unlock Company Profile
Alibaba Group 13 Unlock Company Profile
Moody's 13 Unlock Company Profile
OptumHealth Care Solutions 13 Unlock Company Profile
Intersections 12 Unlock Company Profile
Quality Healthcare Intermediary 12 Unlock Company Profile
Abbott Laboratories 12 Unlock Company Profile
Express Scripts Insurance 11 Unlock Company Profile
Omron Tateisi Electronics 11 Unlock Company Profile
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company 11 Unlock Company Profile
USAA 10 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 10 Unlock Company Profile
Quality Standards 9 Unlock Company Profile
Terumo 9 Unlock Company Profile
Advanced Medical Solutions Group 9 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 9 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 8 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm 8 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 8 Unlock Company Profile
Bank of America 8 Unlock Company Profile
3M 7 Unlock Company Profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 7 Unlock Company Profile
Rite Aid 7 Unlock Company Profile
Taikang Pension Insurance 7 Unlock Company Profile
Healthcare Interactive 7 Unlock Company Profile
dacadoo 6 Unlock Company Profile
Furukawa 6 Unlock Company Profile
ROM Technologies 6 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Taikang Insurance Group, one of the largest life insurance companies in China, is one of the leading patent filers in technologies associated with smart health risk assessment. The company filed patents related to methods, apparatus, medium and electronic equipment for processing and managing health information, creating health prediction models using machine learning, and forecasting diseases based on the input of the core physical examination data into a health prediction model.

Some of the other leading patent filers in the smart health risk assessment space include Expanse Bioinformatics, Oracle, and Microsoft.

In terms of application diversity, SomaLogic held the top position, while Allstate and Hartford Financial Services stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Expanse Bioinformatics leads the pack, followed by Microsoft and 23andMe.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the insurance industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Insurance.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.