Digital Technologies

The Power to Predict and Prevent Accidents, Disasters, and Illness

Insurance, by paying a benefit when unexpected events occur, such as accidents, injuries, and illness, provides security.
Going forward, we believe that, through the prevention of these unexpected events and the mitigation of accidents, disasters, and illness, insurance companies can help create a world of security, health, and wellbeing that does not require insurance. Moreover, we feel that these efforts will contribute to the realization of a sustainable society. In preparation for the environmental changes resulting from the spread of COVID-19, the Sompo Group will invest in the latest digital technologies, such as AI, big data, CX agile* development, and design thinking; rigorously economize on the labor costs of existing businesses and increase their sophistication; and develop new digital technology businesses similar to Palantir Technologies Japan K.K. (“Palantir Japan”).

* Agile development that is focused on customer experience

Strengths and Differentiating Features

Aiming to realize digital transformation throughout the Group, SOMPO Digital Labs have been transforming existing businesses while creating new ones since the establishment of the Digital Strategy Planning Department in April 2016. These activities encompass businesses in Japan as well as overseas Group companies and are now conducted under a trilateral structure, which comprises SOMPO Digital Labs in Tokyo, Silicon Valley, and Tel Aviv.
As part of a human resource strategy focused on achieving digital transformation of its businesses, the Group has established two chief digital officer (CDO) positions. Previously, we had one Group CDO, Koichi Narasaki. Through external recruitment, we appointed Hiroshi Omata as Group Co-CDO in April 2020. Under this new structure, we will realize thoroughgoing digital transformation of existing businesses while transitioning toward new businesses enabled by digital technologies.
As well as the domestic P&C insurance and life insurance businesses and the overseas insurance business, the Group is engaged in the nursing care & healthcare business, among others. Through these businesses, we garner huge volumes of real data* on accidents, disasters, and other matters.
We can use this data not only to pay benefits when accidents and illness occur but also to provide solutions that prevent accidents and illness. In this way, we aim to transform our real data into a truly valuable resource.
To this end, in November 2019 we jointly established Palantir Japan with Palantir Technologies Inc. (“Palantir”), which is headquartered in the United States and in 25 countries worldwide has businesses that offer software platforms for big data analysis.
Further, to advance the building of a general-purpose, Real Data Platform for the Group, we established the Data Management Office in the Digital Strategy Planning Department in April 2020. As well as upgrading the Group’s data-related governance and data utilization, the new office will foster data-related personnel in-house.

* “Real data” refers to data that is acquired from various real-life activities.

Basic Policy

1. Increase efficiency in all business segments Utilize AI and other new technologies to enhance the productivity and efficiency of work previously performed manually
2. Use digital technologies to transform customer touchpoints Develop products and services that enhance customer experiences by using the IoT and sensors
3. Market to digital natives Develop products and services for the young generation familiar with digital technologies
4. Evolve new business models Build new business models based on ideas and technologies that break completely with existing business fields

The intrinsic roles and corporate value of companies are evolving as the fourth industrial revolution advances technology and changes needs among digital natives.
Also, the emergence of COVID-19 is driving dramatic change in society’s systems, needs, and values. Around the world, remote, non-face-to-face communication is increasing and becoming entrenched. As a result, digital technologies and data utilization are very rapidly becoming an indispensable part of social infrastructure.
Reflecting a sense of crisis in relation to the possibility of our insurance business becoming unsustainable, we are building new business models that leverage digital technologies to provide security, health, and wellbeing. As part of these efforts, the Group has tasked SOMPO Digital Labs with the digitalization of existing businesses and the creation of new businesses and services. Accordingly, the labs are referring to and analyzing progressive examples from overseas as they conduct R&D on increasing work efficiency, adapting to changes in customer experiences, developing marketing approaches for digital natives (how to create points of contact with customers whom we could not reach before), and creating new business models. Specifically, we are incorporating AI into underwriting and claims services, developing IoT-enabled insurance and services, unbundling insurance functions to facilitate open innovation with partners, and using Palantir’s technologies to develop co-creation businesses with other companies.
From the establishment of the Digital Strategy Planning Department in fiscal 2016 through the end of fiscal 2019, we conducted 253 proof-of-concept (PoC) tests. These PoC tests have resulted in the commercialization of 37 projects, including those slated for commercialization.
The Group will further strengthen its AI, big data, CX agile development, and design approaches; prepare and forge ahead with digital strategies; and create and advance new businesses enabled by digital technologies. As well as contributing to profits and continuing to drive the Group’s digital transformation, the aforementioned measures will embed digital technologies into society, thereby helping address some of the issues that companies and society face.

The Acceleration of Digital Transformation

The Importance of Real Data

Worldwide, numerous corporations are utilizing virtual data in the development of businesses. However, there is likely to be increased utilization of real data, and Japan is a rich source of such data. This trend promises to allow the creation of new solutions based on the results of real data analysis. Thus, the huge amounts of accident data and other real data that Sompo Holdings accumulates through its businesses are set to become a major resource in the creation of added value.

Our Data Strategy

Sompo Holdings’ real data is the key to realizing “A Theme Park for Security, Health & Wellbeing.” We are engaged in a range of businesses, including the domestic P&C insurance, overseas insurance, and domestic life insurance businesses, as well as the nursing care & healthcare business. Consequently, the Group has accumulated a huge amount of real data on accidents, disasters, and other matters. We will build a Real Data Platform business model that utilizes these data. Through this platform, we will provide customers with high-value-added, quality services and address social issues, including the security, health, and wellbeing of customers and the aging of society.

Launch of a Real Data Platform for Security, Health and Wellbeing in Japan

In November 2019, Sompo Holdings and Palantir jointly established Palantir Japan, a technology company that provides Japanese institutions with software platforms for big data analysis. In June 2020, the three companies agreed on the launch in Japan of the Real Data Platform for Security, Health and Wellbeing, which will further strengthen relationships among the three companies.
In Japan, there is a tremendous amount of real data, such as medical and health data associated with national health insurance system, nursing care data on the world’s fastest-aging population, and operating data of facilities that produce safe, reliable, and high-quality Japanese products. However, we believe that world-class value and business models based on utilizing real data have not yet been established. The aim is to build real data platforms in Japan by combining the Sompo Group’s expertise in utilizing data for the provision of better services in the insurance, nursing care, and healthcare fields with the central platform solutions that Palantir delivers to the world’s leading institutions and Palantir Japan’s specialized knowledge. The initial development of the platform will be focused on nursing care and healthcare in Japan.
Palantir Japan’s technologies will provide strong support to fundamental, data-driven transformation of operations and decision-making not only in the Sompo Group but also in a range of companies and government agencies across Japan.
As a result, we will be able to support efforts aimed at responding flexibly in an era of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA); realizing strong competitiveness globally; and providing greater value to society as a whole. The goal is to establish Palantir Japan as an indispensable company in the provision of platforms for data utilization and digital transformation in Japan’s industrial sector.

An Example of Real Data Utilization

Through a business tie-up with Paramount Bed Holdings Co., Ltd., the Company has begun introducing Nemuri SCAN sleep data measurement sensors to all of the approximately 18,000 bedrooms in the serviced residential complexes for senior citizens of Sompo Care Inc. This initiative is a world first.*1 Boasting the greatest number of senior housing units in Japan, *2 Sompo Care will collect large volumes of multifaceted real data 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The company will use this data to analyze correlations. It will then share findings with major companies in the health and wellness field and offer solutions for the improvement of nursing care; a range of services for the early detection, prevention, and improvement of dementia; and services for the prevention of lifestyle-related ailments.
We will of course collect data in a manner that complies with respective laws and regulations. Moreover, we will encourage understanding of these activities by employing thoughtful approaches that take customers’ feelings into consideration.
Using Palantir software for centralized and continuous data integration and analysis will enable the prediction of nursing care facility residents’ state of health and reduce the workloads of nursing care professionals.
We have already begun a PoC test for the integration of various types of data on residents. This PoC test confirmed that timely detection of residents’ state of health, or changes therein, enables nursing care professionals to respond quickly in accordance with each resident’s status. Our initiative is the first of its kind anywhere in the world. Going forward, we will build a model that not only detects physical changes but also predicts an individual’s state of health.

*1 This is the world’s first initiative for the introduction of sensors to all of a company’s many thousands of bedrooms in serviced residential complexes for senior citizens. (As of May 2020, survey conducted by the Company)
*2 Number of senior housing units: Approximately 25,600 (No. 1 in industry, as of May 2020, survey conducted by the Company) “Senior housing” is a general term that encompasses nursing homes providing long-term care, serviced residential complexes for senior citizens, group homes, and other serviced residences.