Medical Tracking Devices

15 Sep

If there was a device that you could either wear on your person or keep in your home that would periodically monitor various aspects of your health and report that data directly back to your physician, would you be interested? For example, maybe your bathroom scale records your weight and sends the results over the internet to your provider. In an even more high tech world, perhaps Apple will invent the iPot — a next-generation smart-toilet that is able to perform a standard urinalysis each time you go — providing a wealth of data about your metabolism at various points throughout the day and, again, sending the results to your doctor. So would you welcome this sort of thing or would you feel that it was an invasion of privacy? Would it depend on how automated the tracking devices were, and if so, would being more automated increase or decrease your acceptance of a given device?

If you think all this sounds a little bizarre, it’s actually not far off. What’s more, a recent analysis by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that as many of 40% of Americans would not only welcome such medical tracking devices, but would also be willing to pay for them. Of course, another 51% of respondents said they would not pay for such devices. So, we’re not exactly living like The Jetsons just yet. And according to the study, your doctor is likely to be the one who convinces you to try it out: Nearly 90% of physicians surveyed said that they would like it if their patients were being monitored at home. Just something to think about.


Posted by on September 15, 2010 in Uncategorized


2 responses to “Medical Tracking Devices

  1. Jan Baer

    September 15, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    There is a certain sort of person who feels more "in control" knowing their personal medical data at all times, and I'm sure doctors would have a better baseline reference if these could be collected at random without any special preparation or anxiety from the patient.It would be great for doctors whose patients are alcoholics or drug abusers, who usually lie about their usage and present doctors with constant problems difficult to diagnose. One problem could arise if the data was shared with individual health insurers; a single "bad" report could raise a premium substantially, and while these companies are quick to charge more for any number of reasons, they aren't inclined to give discounts for excellent reports.

  2. Phil Childs

    September 16, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    The idea sounds good, assuming there's appropriate privacy. Personally, I would be interested in the data, but would NOT want anyone else to see it – even my doctor. Unfortuntately… I envision something like "credit scores"… where the government mandated insurance (since no one else will be able to compete) will adjust your premiums based on your "health score". (Oh, you ate a burger yesterday… you owe and additional fee.)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: