Josh Bolinger: Getting a Hand on Health
How can new medical technology improve our health?
I’ve talked elsewhere on this site about the new portability of medical devices, and what that means for under-developed communities. But what does it mean for those of us here at home?
From real-time blood testing for diabetics to the hand-held breathalyzer unit that cops use to see if a driver is impaired, our world is filling up with small, portable devices that can give an instant report on how our body is functioning at any given moment.
One of the best things we can do to improve public health here in the US, I think, is to make these devices inexpensive and easy-to-use, and put them in the hands of everyday people to help them see how their bodies fluctuate throughout the day, and how their behavior impacts those fluctuations.
Some people need to monitor their blood-pressure closely. I’ve seen machines in pharmacies that allow people to test their pressure, but it seems to me, if a trip to the store is needed to check it, then people will not make those checks as often as they optimally should.
Any organization that wants to improve public health can make a huge impact by developing more of these devices, and making them more available to the folks that need them.