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.
4 thoughts on “Getting a Hand on Health”
I have heard that the testers are expensive but I have also seen some corporations offering free testers when people sign up and exclusively buy their supplies from them. I would be good with that, but I am sure that there are a lot of people who don’t want to be locked into a contract even if it means getting something they need.
I have to monitor my blood pressure and having a cuff of my own would really make things easier, they don’t seem like they should cost very much, but they do.
I think if you really want to make a splash, you should invent a portable, instant AIDS tester, like the blood-sugar monitors. If you can find out in five seconds if having sex with someone is going to kill you, it will probably make a difference.
Making portable electronic health devices affordable is one great idea of helping others, but another option and possibly inexpensive model would be to develop an app for android and ios devices that thousands of users can download and use.
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