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It seems like everything I read talks about how life insurers need to innovate to achieve organic growth. They need to overhaul legacy systems and ditch the manual processes. They need to adjust to their demanding customer-base: millennials. They need to be agile to accommodate technology that comes as fast as it goes.


These articles and blogs never explain HOW to do those things, leaving the reader with a few beads of sweat on the forehead and a newfound sense of impending doom.

Natural Language Processing for Life Insurance to the Rescue!

You can let go of the panic button because there’s a new sheriff in town: natural language processing for life insurance.

The main goal of this technology is to automate the data ingestion process to fast-track a greater percentage of applications. That right there is your superhero. It’s an innovative technology that reduces and eliminates an underwriter’s manual efforts to organize and read incoming data. Imagine reducing the one-hour it takes to read a few hundred pages down to minutes and fast-tracking the customer response time.  

How Natural Language Processing for Life Insurance Works

What we’re talking about here is a comprehensive document capture solution, but it’s not your mother’s capture solution. It has a trick up its sleeve: medical extraction (which we maaaaay or may not be working on as a product for our clients 😉).

Out-of-the-box extractors from a technology like IBM Datacap Insight Edition, pull information like date, location, last name, etc. from documents. Custom medical extractors are specific to medical terminology. This means the capture solution extracts information that is actually relevant to underwriters like medical diagnoses, doctors’ names, lab results, prescriptions and chronic conditions. It can even distinguish between doctor name and patient name and identify duplicate documents. And because this is a cognitive technology, the more applications that go through Datacap, the more it learns how an underwriter thinks.

Fast-Track Those Applications

So, instead of an underwriter laboring over an attending physician statement or paramed exam for hours (and sometimes days), just to gather all the information they need to make a decision, medical extractors make it happen automatically.

But what happens to the extracted medical history?

This is where Datacap’s role stops, but technologies like the Pyramid Solutions Life Underwriting Solution organize and present the extracted data. If an applicant meets certain criteria or does not have specific ailments, or is young and has a healthy lifestyle, the Life Underwriting Solution fast-tracks the application so the underwriter doesn’t spend time reviewing something that’s an easy approval – they only spend time reviewing the more complex applications.

This is where data visualization comes in. The Life Underwriting Solution leverages workflow rules and cognitive technology to classify and organize the extracted data into categories such as Lifestyle, Lab Results, and Procedures. (See what it looks like by watching a demo of this technology – skip to minute 23:12 in the video). Underwriters can click on these categories and see every document that pertains to it. Presenting the applicant’s information this way makes it incredibly easy for the underwriter to assess them and make a decision.

This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what natural language processing for life insurance can do. Take a look at “ECM at Work: IBM Datacap Insight Edition” to learn more. It’s a half-hour explanation and demo of Datacap Insight Edition, the Life Underwriting Solution and Medical Extraction.