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Mitchell International Inc., headquartered in San Diego, California,  published the results of a survey of about 100 workers’ compensation professionals in the U.S.

It wanted to know what the industry thinks is next in workers’ compensation and how will technology affect our industry in 2020 and beyond? And how does the outlook for technology in our industry compare to the industry’s perspective in 2017, when Mitchell conducted a similar survey?

To find out, it surveyed nearly 100 workers’ compensation professionals at a range of companies, including insurance carriers, third-party administrators, public entities, brokers, and managed care and risk management companies.

The results of the 2020 survey demonstrated that the adoption of technology is now, more than ever, at the forefront of the evolution of workers’ compensation claims management, and is a trend expected to continue and grow into the foreseeable future.

Half of the responding workers’ compensation professionals believe that cost containment is the driving factor for adopting advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), predictive analytics, telemedicine, wearables, mobile technology and chatbots.

Many respondents believe that telemedicine will have the biggest impact on the industry within the next five years (32%), followed closely by artificial intelligence (30%) and predictive analytics (20%).

Almost all of the 2020 respondents said they have either already adopted (20%) or are at least somewhat likely to adopt (74%) these new advanced technologies within their organization within the next five years. Of the 20% of respondents currently using these technologies, the majority are using predictive analytics, followed by telemedicine and mobile.

Additionally, 33% of respondents said they are currently using claims analytics to make business improvements, and 36% said they are either currently implementing or planning to implement claims analytics in the next five years. Participants also reported that, out of a list of common challenges, the most pressing issues their organizations face today are workflow efficiency (28%), followed by cost containment (19%) and the changing workforce/employee turnover (15%).

It is noted that this survey was undertaken before the COVID-19 pandemic; however, it is anticipated that the trends will continue as reported with an additional emphasis on telemedicine which has proven to be so important for treating injured workers during this time.