11:03 AM
Kelly Sheridan
Kelly Sheridan
Connect Directly

Will Insurance Increase Access to Google Glass?

In a move that will impact consumers and healthcare providers, VSP has agreed to offer subsidized frames and prescription lenses for Google Glass.

Optical insurer VSP VisionCare has struck a deal with Google to offer prescription lenses and subsidized frames for Google Glass, reports the New York Times. This move will make Glass more affordable for consumers and increase the level of cooperation between health care and consumer electronics companies.

VSP, which insures one-fifth of Americans, has provided Google’s eye care insurance since the company was founded, according to CNET. The two companies have been discussing a Glass-based partnership for over a year.

[ Read: Aetna Increases Focus On Employee Health. ]

Insurance industry experts told Insurance & Technology earlier this year that Google Glass represents the dawning of a new age of wearable devices that have the potential to impact the industry with new personal data. If the Google-VSP agreement succeeds in increasing availability to Glass, it stands to reason that other insurers could make more of a case to figure out ways to use the new data. And, of course, VSP potentially has a leg up in terms of seeing what kind of data Glass gleans and relating it to risk management.

And increasing accessibility seems to be the plan: Jim McGrann, president of VSP, told CNET that he expects insurance will provide a means for consumers to better adjust to Glass, which has not yet reached the general public. Meanwhile, Google anticipates that Glass will become publicly available beyond the Explorer program in late 2014.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

Register for Insurance & Technology Newsletters