Wearable Technology Could Reduce Workers’ Comp Claim Costs

October 27, 2015

Technological breakthroughs in wearable technology are revolutionizing healthcare, particularly the well-being and independence of individuals with serious injuries. Using wearable technology in the workers’ compensation industry could profoundly impact overall claims costs, significantly improve the quality of life for seriously injured workers, and boost productivity within the workplace, according to Zack Craft, vice president of Rehab Solutions and Complex Care Education at One Call Care Management. Presenting on the topic of wearable technology through One Call University, he offered insights into how to determine if wearable technology is right for an injured worker.

Close up white smart watch with health app icon on the screen is on hand
Close up white smart watch with health app icon on the screen is on hand

“Within the workplace, wearable technology will significantly impact employees in three ways: help prevent workplace injury, keep routine injuries from migrating into more serious problems and improve the longterm health status and independence of those who have serious injuries,” said Craft. “These technological innovations can, for example, monitor a worker’s posture or the amount and type of exercise, sense when equipment is being used correctly or incorrectly and incredibly allow people who are paralyzed to walk again using an exoskeleton that is expected to receive FDA approval in 2016. With wearable technology, we can reduce overall costs by keeping the treatment plan on track to avoid re-injury and complications. For people with serious limitations, we give them back a large degree of control over their own lives.”

Craft identified four key categories of claims where wearable technology may be appropriate:

  • Complex/Catastrophic claims;
  • Bariatric claims;
  • Geriatric claims;
  • Short term claims.

“As people age, their condition changes,” noted Craft. “They may gain weight or develop other health problems. The treatment plan itself may even impact their health; medication often produces side effects. The situation within the family may change as well. Compliance may become less exact. All these things can significantly impact the patient’s condition and well-being and in turn, may cause complications and additional treatment that would not otherwise be necessary.”

The company’s rehab team selects the most appropriate equipment to maximize a patient’s functionality and independence. In addition, Craft teaches occupational therapists, physical therapists and patients how to use assistive technologies.

Craft will be presenting on the topic of wearable technology, specifically around the exoskeleton, next year at the annual RIMS Conference in San Diego, California.

Source: One Call Care Management

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