Wednesday, January 09, 2019
The Impact All Those Devices Are Having On Healthcare. A Bit Of A Survey Of Ideas!
This appeared last week.
By Celina Ribeiro
27 Dec 2018 — 11:00 PM
It's 6am in the yoga room when my Apple Watch beeps three times. It's not helping the mediative mood but I have to look. I've been wearing the watch for two weeks and I'm tracking everything I can about my body. Right now my heart rate is 68 beats per minute. The readout tells me I've stood for a minute each hour for 10 consecutive hours. Through the My Fitness Pal app, I've logged exactly what I've eaten today and learned a glass of Bonsoy is nearly as calorific as a banana. Where my doctor's advice and own self-interest failed to get me doing my 30 minutes of exercise a day, the watch has succeeded.
I now have data about how much I weigh, what I eat, how well I sleep, how much I've walk and how hard my heart is working. If I am prepared to share some of this information with my insurance company I could get a discount on my life cover. But what I am doing is just the start when it comes to monitoring my wellbeing. Already, there's a wristband that scans whatever you put into your shopping basket to find out whether it's a good match for your genetic make-up, an app that alerts your doctor when you haven't taken your antipsychotic medication and a box in your bedroom that can sense your heart beat in the living room.
Across the world, healthcare is undergoing a fundamental transformation. As we all live longer, health systems are increasingly dealing with chronic conditions as opposed to the old model of acute care lasting days or weeks. And the promotion and management of healthy lifestyles, to combat the rise of lifestyle diseases, is becoming an increasingly important part of the health mix.
In supporting and propelling that general shift, there has been an explosion in devices, apps and technology designed to record or modify everything from what we eat to how we breathe.
Tech giants such as Google are rumoured to be working on AI-assisted wellness coaches that push you towards healthier menu options where you're dining, or customise workouts and meal plans for you. Apple is making huge investments in both consumer and clinician-level health and wellness technology. These are not sci-fi dreams. These are available or in development now. We have never before had access to this level of information about our health. And we have never before shared this information so widely. We're still figuring out what it means for the way we live, how the medical profession treats us, how public health is managed and how we are insured. How much information is too much?
Globally, nearly 28 million wearable devices were sold in the second quarter of 2018 – a 5.5 per cent increase on the previous year – according to the International Data Corporation. That's $US4.8 billion ($6.7 billion) worth – an 8.3 per cent rise. The IQVIA Institute of Health Data Sciences says there are more than 310,000 health apps now available. The business of keeping well is booming. In October, the Global Wellness Institute reported that the wellness industry, covering everything from spas to apps, was worth $US4.2 trillion in 2017 – a growth of 12.8 per cent over two years which, it says, now represents more than 5 per cent of global output.
Vastly more here:
There are a lot of interesting ideas and apps out there. Well worth a read.
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Wednesday, January 09, 2019