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.