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Preventure's wearable sensors automate risk-prevention training

Insurers are being invited to take advantage of data collected by wearable sensors across workforces revealing where musculoskeletal injury risks are hidden across sites and occupations.

Australian startup Preventure has spent five years translating knowledge from elite athlete injuries into a solution that helps workers. The business expanded globally with a remote service model last year and now has a team in the US and more than 30 clients.

Back, shoulder and lower limb injuries are a significant cost and Preventure says harnessing sensor technology can assist claims management and return-to-work teams.

“We can use wearable sensors and data to help workers return to full duties with the lowest possible risk of re-injury,” founder and CEO Scott Coleman, formerly a Queensland sports physiotherapist, said.

Technological progress in workers’ compensation is catching up to that seen in motor insurance, where uptake of sensor technology and predictive data tools has been strong, he says.

Preventure technology is the same that is stitched into athlete jerseys but does not track GPS or data like heart rate. Workers, who own their own account, get alerts highlighting any movement habits that excessively load their body.

Workers only need to use the sensors for a week or two, helping affordability across large workforces. They see daily data insights and receive individual micro-training modules via an app.

“We are teaching them injury prevention concepts used in sport but coupling that with actual video of tasks that they perform,” said Mr Coleman, who moved into the insurtech sphere when his mother sustained a back injury.

“I knew her injury was preventable and that we already had a lot of the answers in our very well-funded field of professional sport,” he said.

Preventure conducted software pilot programs across logistics, healthcare, manufacturing and aviation, working with employers, workers and allied health professionals. International manual handling standards are built into its algorithms.