In Next steps in health & medicine – where can technology take us? (a TEDx Talk), Daniel Kraft argues the importance of technology in the advancement of both preventive and comprehensive healthcare. Specifically, Kraft shows the distinction between sick care v. healthcare and how society can move towards a better healthcare structure.
Kraft argues how technology can disrupt the healthcare industry and make healthcare more continuous, inexpensive, and accessible. Kraft is the Founding Executive Director for Exponential Medicine, which is a program that champions the intersection of technology and healthcare. During his TEDx Talk, he emphasizes how every single individual can play a role in the future of healthcare and technology. It was noted that the current role of healthcare in the United States is currently reactive and is thought to be important when you are sick/need to get better. With advancing health technology (such as wearable step trackers or sleep monitors), Kraft shows how we all can practice healthcare over sick care. Furthermore, Kraft argues that our wearable technology might one day become ‘insideables.’ When technology is collecting our personalized healthcare data, Kraft said we must make sense of what it means and how to best use it. With technology becoming so embedded and widespread in healthcare, Kraft suspects that crowdsourcing and information sharing will become more prevalent and impactful.
The arguments and thoughts presented in this TEDx talk were interesting and well-defended, but some things created hesitation for me. The topic of technology in healthcare is extremely relevant, especially considering the boom of telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, many people have Apple Watches and use Fitbits for health purposes, so it is an important aspect of everyday technology use. Kraft covered a few different examples of interactive health technology, including a technologically advanced diaper. Personally, I think that a diaper with technology features might be too novel and I would be hesitant to use that for my own child. Furthermore, I think that technology advancements in healthcare have the potential to widen the gap of existent healthcare disparities that are present in our society. It is the most privileged people in our society that experience advancements first, so I think there needs to be initiatives to eradicate these healthcare gaps while also advancing healthcare technology simultaneously.