Life in a fishbowl

Life in a fishbowl

Summary: In the interests of research, one of my colleagues at the Labs is walking around wearing a LifeShirt from VivoMetrics. The LifeShirt contains sensors that track heart rate, body temperature and respiration, and wirelessly transmit the data to a PDA or PC.

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TOPICS: Big Data
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In the interests of research, one of my colleagues at the Labs is walking around wearing a LifeShirt from VivoMetrics. The LifeShirt contains sensors that track heart rate, body temperature and respiration, and wirelessly transmit the data to a PDA or PC. The shirt can also determine whether you're standing, squatting, prone or in any number of other positions--useful in the event that you take a sudden fall.

So what?

The LifeShirt or technology like it could dramatically change your relationship with your health insurer. In the United States, it's OK for insurers to punish "bad" behavior (smoking, for example) and reward good by offering different rates to different people. If they got data from the LifeShirt, however, they could expand both the range and granularity of behaviors they'd reward. By tracking your heart rate they could work out how much aerobic exercise you engage in, and of course the position sensor would tell them how many deep knee bends, sit-ups, etc., you do. Each month (day? hour?) you could get an e-mail from your insurer congratulating (or berating) you for the amount of exercise you'd done and encouraging you to do more by explaining how much you'd saved/lost on your monthly (daily? hourly?) premium. On the one hand, you could say it would be an unconscionable intrusion on your personal privacy. On the other hand...it would certainly keep you motivated. Is this a future you would look forward to? --Ed Gottsman

Topic: Big Data

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4 comments
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  • better if your personal trainer or doctor got the data feed

    You can trust these individuals more than a health insurer...
    chris jablonski
  • Health insurer should have no controll.

    The only people who should know about my habits is me and the people I choose to tell. Health insurers should not be able to discrminate period. Anyway America will continue to have one of the worst health care systems in the world till we implement a national health care system. Remember this health care should be a right, not a privelege.
    rhammock
    • I want them to have some control

      While I do not want to wear a shirt that would send a lot of personal information I *do* want my insurance company to discriminate when it comes to the premiums I pay. I live a healthy life style and pay reduced premiums that reflect this. I do *not* want to subsidize those who chose to live otherwise.

      For the same reasons I do *not* want national health care. In countries where national health care exists, while more people may receive services most people receive fewer and reduced quality of service. A system, such as medical savings accounts, that puts responsibiity on the individual to manage his health dollars well will provide better services to more people.

      I believe that such a system may also help encourage more people to live healthier life-styles; it is proven to keep medical costs down. On the other, there are those for whom virtually nothing will help.

      RudyTome
      RudyTome2
    • Poppycock!!

      [b]Anyway America will continue to have one of the worst health care systems in the world till we implement a national health care system. Remember this health care should be a right, not a privelege.[/b]

      The US has damn FINE health care as it stands. Nationalized health care would NOT solve whatever issues there are currently with the system. In fact, it will make things MUCH worse.

      You've obviously never dealt with government run hospital services. Ever wait 14 HOURS in the "Urgent" care area of a county hospital, finally getting to see a doctor who's mind was elsewhere - namely the merits of the Infinity Q-45 vs a BMW 325i? I don't know about you, but when I'm in pain, I want my doctor focusing the five minutes of effort he's giving me on [b]MY[/b] ills and [b]NOT[/b] his next car.

      In Los Angeles county, there's a county run hospital known as King Drew Medical Center. This hospital is so bad that it's losing it's certifications left and right and may be finally shut down. It's so bad, that police have a pact with each other that says if they get shot or otherwise injured, their fellow officers will make sure they do [b]NOT[/b] under any circumstances wind up at King Drew Medical Center. Google the hospital's name for more horror stories.

      Private hospitals, on the other hand, are much better. When my gall bladder got inflamed, I was taken to one simply because it was the closest hospital. Instead of handing me a perscription for ulcer medication and sending me home, they actually took the time and trouble to find out what was wrong with me. They performed surgery 4 days after I arrived and went home 5 days after that. Mind you, I had no insurance at the time. I got a nice hefty bill, which at the time I couldn't pay.

      The point is - there are laws already on the books that insure that people get care should they wind up on a hospital's doorsteps. The only thing that a Clintonesque takeover of the medical industry would accomplish would be to destroy it.

      Consider this: If we've got such a horrid medical system now, WHY are Canadians coming across the border to visit OUR doctors and facilities? The Canadians have nationalized health care... If it's so darn superior then why go elsewhere?
      Wolfie2K3