MEMS, Emerging Technology?

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22 January 2014
Wenli Yuan
Ever heard of “MEMS”? I guess most people will answer ‘no’ to this question. “MEMS” is an acronym for Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems – which can be further defined as miniaturized mechanical and electro-mechanical components. So how does this affect us? This technology has been around for a number of years now, and is slowly becoming more and more useful in everyday life. Very small components can collect data and stream the results to an increasing number of devices, thus making data collection far easier and convenient. No, I am not talking about invasive data collection. But imagine a small device implanted in your arm that can collect data about your health! Such as rising blood pressure, an impending heart attack, changes to your blood composition, etc etc. Imagine further that this data can be streamed in real time to your smartphone and your doctor! Research on “MEMS” usage is ongoing, and in some cases people are already predicting that its use will reduce disease and surgery in future. This could have far-reaching implications in the life and health insurance industry. Sometime in the future we may be pricing life and health products and using the availability and ongoing usage of MEMS devices as an input into our rating – just as we are currently using telematics data to price for auto insurance. Is this going to be the next big change in our industry?


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