Paws for thought: RSA invests in wearable tech for dogs

Insurer RSA has invested in FinTech company Pitpatpet, which makes the PitPat, a wearable activity monitor for dogs.

Paws for thought: RSA invests in wearable tech for dogs

Insurer RSA has invested in FinTech company Pitpatpet, which makes the PitPat, a wearable activity monitor for dogs.

PitPat attaches quickly and secures to a dog’s collar where it has a battery life of over a year. Dog owners download the free iOS or Android app and create a profile for their pet based on the dog’s age, breed and weight.

PitPat then suggests a daily activity goal to help owners keep their pet fit and healthy by making informed lifestyle choices.

Owners can view daily updates on their pet’s activity levels, noting how much running, walking, playing and resting they’ve been doing – and seeing a daily “calories burnt” count.

Kenny Leitch, global connected insurance director at RSA, said: “There is no NHS for pets – we essentially provide private health insurance for dogs and just like the human healthcare market, education and encouraging prevention of disease is paramount.”

Leitch added that for the first time owners can use real-time data to monitor how their pet is behaving and how that behaviour might affect their health.

The Kennel Club estimates that between 30%-60% of Britain’s 8.5m dogs are obese, with that figure rising annually.

Wearable tech and health insurance

Research by GlobalData Financial Services has also found wearable devices are fast becoming popular among consumers

Its 2016 UK Insurance Consumer Survey revealed that 16.2% of consumers have at least one wearable device, and this is expected to grow as another 20.1% of respondents would like to have one. 

As expected, penetration is more prevalent among younger consumers. Popularity reduces with age, resulting in those aged under 40 accounting for 64% of those with this type of gadget.

In the UK, the evolution of wearable tech and insurance has seen Vitality partnering with technology giant Apple to enable Vitality members to be rewarded for staying active.

It means Vitality members can get an Apple Watch Series 2 from £69 and then fund the remaining balance by getting active.

Members can track their activity via Apple Watch Series 2 to earn Vitality points. They can also receive notifications to their Apple Watch Series 2 when they unlock Vitality Active Rewards, which include weekly Starbucks drinks and cinema tickets.

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