Could fewer titbits for Tiddles replace Fitbits for Fido?
As the pet insurance sector chews over the implications of what has been described as an animal obesity epidemic and an upsurge in the use of smart pet collars, leading pet insurance technologist Aquarium Software says animals (like many humans!) need to eat less and exercise more. Wearable technology, coupled with next generation software is one way of keeping Fido fit, but some ‘old school’ low tech fitness solutions can also make pet insurance premiums easier to swallow, according to Aquarium.
Viewing our pets as part of the family has led owners to treating pets as people and human food portions lead to obese pets with human problems of arthritis, high blood pressure and reduced life expectancy as a consequence. With vet bills set to expand if unchecked, smart technology, say commentators, can offer a solution to some of these problems. “Smart animal collars have been around for a few years now,” said Mark Colonnese, sales and Marketing Director at Aquarium Software. “Careful drivers are rewarded with lower premiums and smart devices could likewise reduce premiums for responsible pet owners. Such technology can also identify health problems early and nip them in the bud before they have the opportunity to become more serious - or more expensive.”
Digital collars can monitor vital signs and if data is shared with the insurer, premiums for a trim Tiddles not being fed titbits can be trimmed accordingly; leaving feckless owners to pick up the tab along with tubby tabby. However as with humans, there is no substitute to getting the basics right, and less calorific intake is a great starting point. “So called smart collars were mocked initially, but since Mars spent $117 million on Whistle’s ‘Fitbit for Dogs’, in 2016, attitudes have changed,” added Colonnese. “We applaud any innovative new technology like this that can have a positive impact on pets’ health and insurance premiums. Equally, some of the answers probably lie much closer to home, with better diets for pets clearly a significant part of the mix, too,” Mark concluded.
Aquarium software solutions analyse and extrapolate the key findings, can be tailored to the size and breed of pet and management by exception delivers just the pertinent information, solving the conundrum of extracting incidental data from vital and flagging only data of concern, but it doesn’t stop there. Technology is leading the fight against fraud and delivering premium pricing based on actual risk.