Most everyone has heard the phrase, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” a phrase referencing the fact that everything has a cost and if you’re not paying for it, someone else is. In the US today, the largest age group in our population is comprised of Baby Boomers (people born between 1946 & 1964) and that group is putting a significant strain on our healthcare system just because of the number of people and median age in this category.
That strain, in combination with the current economic climate and Medicare’s general lack of resources has produced a recipe for disaster. If the government wishes to provide healthcare to a growing number of people with increasingly limited resources, the government will have to cut back on healthcare costs elsewhere, which will likely compromise the quality of healthcare offered and/or the number of people subsidized healthcare is offered to. This post isn’t meant to be a sob story – there are a ton of technologies, both current and in-development, capable of picking up some of the slack. The real question is, are we willing to pay the price?
To elaborate, these new technologies, which are either available or in development, are sensitive…very sensitive. So sensitive, in fact, some 3D sensors like those in new Xbox live consoles can see your pulse just by looking at you, or hear and process every single word you say like Motorola’s new MotoX.
At this point you’re probably asking yourself what Xbox or the MotoX have to do with healthcare and the answer is simple. Healthcare costs can be reduced through technologies that monitor everything we say (and the way we speak), our heart rate under daily stress and exercise, or even the way our pupils look (which Glass can currently do) by preventing previously unmonitored downward (health) spirals from perpetuating, and reducing response times to life-threatening emergencies.
While giving up a little more privacy may seem like a very steep price to pay, I’m onboard with many of these technologies because I have seen, first hand, the vast (previously impossible) potential that can be realized by infusing the internet of everything (IoE) with this type of biometric information, and I’m willing to bet that at least half of you feel the same way simply because you’re reading this.
So how do you feel about giving up even more privacy when so little about your life is still private in-exchange for quality healthcare?