The insurance industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by growing demand for digitalisation and personalisation. With growing importance of technologies such as telematics, machine learning, big data, deep learning, and data science, insurers are overcoming demographic challenges, low penetration rates, cybercrimes and fraudulent claims. In the last three years alone, there have been over 11,000 patents filed and granted in the insurance industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Internet of Things in Insurance: Fall detection sensing alarms

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 stabilising 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. 

90 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 65,000 patents, there are 90 innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry. 

Within the emerging innovation stage, remote metering networks and vehicle image capturing sensors are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Vehicle anti-theft systems, fall detection sensing alarms, and vehicle navigation telematics are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are property surveillance drones and intrusion sensing IoT networks, which are now well established in the industry.  

Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the insurance industry 

Fall detection sensing alarms is a key innovation area in Internet of Things 

Fall detection systems track the user's movements using accelerometers, a class of low-power radio wave technology sensor. By spotting sudden changes in bodily movement, fall warning detectors can determine when a user has unexpectedly fallen. The device can assess a person's posture, level of physical activity, and how smoothly their movements accelerate. The system will automatically activate an emergency fall alarm and contact emergency response workers if it decides that the user's elements are in the danger zone and that a fall has happened. 

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 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established insurance companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of fall detection sensing alarms.

Key players in fall detection sensing alarms – a disruptive innovation in the insurance industry

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

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

Patent volumes related to fall detection sensing alarms

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 153 Unlock company profile
FedEx 85 Unlock company profile
Flex 65 Unlock company profile
Allstate 30 Unlock company profile
Ford Motor 10 Unlock company profile
Hartford Financial Services Group 8 Unlock company profile
Leonard Green & Partners 6 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 5 Unlock company profile
Travelers Companies 5 Unlock company profile
FloodFlash 5 Unlock company profile
International Business Machines 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Allstate is one of the leading patent filers in fall detection sensing alarms. A user is equipped with a wearable human telematic device that transmits telematic information about the user. The system incorporates at least one building or environment telematic sensor that is set up to deliver telematic information about the structure and/or immediate surroundings. The various telematic data are transmitted and processed to notify the user of a potential safety issue. Some other key patent filers in the fall detection sensing alarms industry include Leonard Green & Partners, Panasonic, Ford Motor, and Flex

In terms of application diversity, Leonard Green & Partners leads the pack, with Panasonic and Flex in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Leonard Green & Partners holds the top position, followed by FloodFlash and Panasonic

Fitness and health tracking apps and wearable tech collect vast amounts of data in real-time, which can then be shared with developers and third parties such as insurers. Insights generated through data analytics can be used to establish an individual’s health risk, fitness level, and behaviour, as well as predict their future needs. Information collected via connected devices can help insurers predict how likely an individual is to be affected by an illness and encourage them to take preventative actions. It gives opportunities to insurers to tailor products and personalise recommendations and premiums. 

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the insurance industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Insurance


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.