WIN Magazine - Spring 2015 - (Page 29)
BY DR. ACHIM REGENAUER
IS in a transitional stage between
pure research and
risk exposures will insurers face
in the future?
Robot nurses, drugs that enhance
brain power, high-tech devices that
can read minds-is this really all
about to come true? It is beyond
dispute that the sharp increase in
mental and psychiatric disorders
plaguing our ageing society, along
with the growing use of psychotropic drugs in everyday life, will pose
challenges-challenges which will
also impact the insurance industry.
And breakthroughs in neuroscience
and brain research will influence
these trends. The earlier detection of
dementia disorders could increase the
claims burden in LTC insurance, for
example, while new and better treatments for the more effective rehabilitation of stroke victims could affect
health and disability insurance.
Meanwhile, more widespread pillpopping in the workplace will raise
new liability issues. Insurers must
heed this early warning and brace
themselves for these developments.
With this in mind, Munich Re
has been keeping a watchful eye on
medical trends and the advances
made in pure research, maintaining close contacts with scientific
experts-for instance, with Professor
John-Dylan Haynes from the
Bernstein Center for Computational
Neuroscience at the Charité Hospital
in Berlin, who is conducting intensive studies into functional magnetic
resonance imaging (fMRI). This is
a further development of structural
MRI and measures changes in blood
flow in the various regions of the
brain. This method allows functional brain processes to be represented in the form of cross-sectional
image series and has the potential
to improve the diagnosis, prognosis
and treatment of disorders of the central nervous system.
Advances in imaging. Despite the
great technical advances made in the
imaging of brain structures, the use
of this technology for diagnostic purposes is still in its infancy, and fMRI
is not set to become a routine clinical
procedure any time soon. One factor
here is that with some diseases, such
as multiple sclerosis, characteristic
activity patterns in the brain cannot
always be recognized conclusively.
There have also been insufficient
large-scale studies to exclude incidental fMRI findings which require
checking and sometimes treatment.
In the medium term, however, progress is primarily expected in the
field of automated diagnostics, where
computer analyses assist the radiologist's trained eye in the assessment
of digitized cross-sectional images.
But much more extensive databases
and prediction algorithms must be
developed for different brain diseases
before this becomes possible.
Evaluating chronic pain on the
basis of brain activity measurements is problematic for another
reason: a subject need only imagine the feeling of pain in order to
produce the same brain activity as
someone genuinely experiencing it.
Even the symptoms of such fashionable mental disorders as burnout
syndrome can be produced through
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of WIN Magazine - Spring 2015
Cover Story: Will the Excess and Surplus Lines Insurance Business Saddle Up with Standards? By CJ Ketterer
Digital Maturity—or Extinction: Your Survival Now Depends on Digital Transformation By Scott Klososky and Corey White
Emerging Trends: The Technology Side By Greg Ricker, CPCU
Emerging Trends in the Property Insurance Market By Ralph Sabbagh, ASLI
Underwriting the Exposures of Business Operations: The Impact of Tenant Leases By Craig A. Mathre, CPCU, CLU, CIC, CRM, ASLI, RPLU, AU, AIC, ARM, AAM
Emerging Risks: Brain Research By Dr. Achim Regenauer
Millennials: How Well You Attract and Keep Them Could Be Your Competitive Advantage By Teresa Vaughn, SPHR
Volcanoes, Hurricanes, Tropical Storms and Floods: Perils and Exposures in Paradise By Sharon K. Lee
“Empowering the Wholesale Nation”: AAMGA Annual Meeting Registration and Room Block Are Now Open
Index of Advertisers
WIN Magazine - Spring 2015
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