QBE Australia turns to dorsaVi’s wearable sensor tech to provide ‘risk innovation’

QBE Australia dorsaVi ASX DVL wearable sensor technology data insights
QBE Australia has pre-allocated $250,000 for the one-year commercial collaboration with dorsaVi.

Wearable sensor technology developer dorsaVi (ASX: DVL) and Australia’s second-largest global insurer QBE Insurance (ASX: QBE) have agreed to a one-year “commercial collaboration”, that will see QBE’s customers gaining access to dorsaVi’s wearable sensor technology and associated data insights.

dorsaVi’s hardware and software features are meant to reduce movement risk, injury claims and workers compensation premiums borne by QBE customers.

Currently, QBE offers various insurance products to personal, business, corporate and institutional customers, including automotive and home insurance, as well as tailored business packages and specialist cover for industries such as aviation and farming.

According to the deal, dorsaVi’s on-body sensors will be used in real-time and actual work environments to monitor movement and muscle activity, quantify movement risk and guide decision making on appropriate risk mitigating strategies.

A key goal for insurers is to be able to pro-actively manage risk and have accurate remote visibility on where potential risks are to ensure that claim volumes are far lower than the volume of paid premiums.

The more data available to the assessor, the more accurately policies can be priced, and to the insurer’s advantage. Tracking data improves the degree to which insurers can mitigate their exposure to financial risk.

QBE has pre-allocated $250,000 for the 12 months to enable their customers, both new and existing, access to dorsaVi’s ViSafe and myViSafe technology and resulting data insights.

“Over the past two years, we’ve been increasingly looking at ways we can reduce the risk of injury for workers. New technologies offer great promise for taking a proactive role in making workplaces safer and we’re excited to be working with dorsaVi’s technology to achieve this,” QBE’s general manager of people and risk Rob Kosova said.

Mr Kosova explained that workplace injuries remain an unfortunate part of work-life and that his team has spent the last two years at ways of reducing the risk of injury to workers.

“Safe Work Australia puts the total cost of workplace injury and disease at around 4% of GDP and over one-third of these are due to body stressing or manual handling. Partnering with dorsaVi is one way we can assist more customers to prevent these injuries from happening,” he said.

Wider reflection

The move could be a potentially dystopian development: a tie-up between an insurer and a wearable tech developer indicates that every smidgeon of data – digital or analogue – will be used to quantify and mitigate risk.

In the Internet of Things (IoT) age, this could potentially lead to smartphones, watches, laptops and even kitchen appliances being harnessed to gather data in order to optimise claims calculations, and ultimately, to reveal to insurers who is a safe bet.

Upon hearing of dorsaVi’s and QBE’s collaboration, utilitarians and insurers are likely to rejoice, whereas privacy advocates and policy holders are likely to raise eyebrows.

In a slight aberration due to the ultra-low starting price, dorsaVi shares rose by 823% this morning to $0.12, while QBE shares ticked up 1.5% to $8.93.