Beam Technologies, a Columbus, Ohio start-up that introduced an Internet of Things (IoT) based toothbrush two years ago has now launched a new dental insurance product leveraging technology and data from the toothbrush. It hopes to transform the dental insurance market by creating an insurance plan that includes giving its brush to customers to get better data and help keep premiums reasonable.
Beam’s new insurance plan that formally launched in August 2015 will be driven by an IoT toothbrush and accompanying app and will award dental-care discounts based on points patients generate by using their smart toothbrush in conjunction with a new membership program. Using sensors and Bluetooth technology, Beam designed a toothbrush that can log users’ brushing habits and send the data to a smart phone. The toothbrush sends data about how often and how long the user brushes to an app compatible with iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch (a software update will soon add the ability to tell users where they spent the most time brushing and the pressure used). The app can then offer feedback about where the user could do a better job. The system is also capable of comparing the brushing habits of a family and rewards those who do the best.
Alex Frommeyer, Beam’s CEO, explains that “the idea is to build a leaner insurance company using technology and data from the toothbrushes. The company also wants to provide policyholders with the essentials to keep their teeth in top shape.” To do this, Beam has developed its own line of dental floss and toothpaste that it will ship customers every quarter and hopes to reduce the cost of premiums by up to 25 percent.
Although Beam’s dental plan may not make a big dent in existing player’s market share, it’s a development that showcases how product innovation will shape up in the emerging IoT world.