In “Next steps in health & medicine — where can technology take us?” physician Daniel Kraft discusses the modern healthcare system and the emphasis on “sick care”, as opposed to “health care”, which focuses on preventative medicine rather than treatment for existing ailments.
As Kraft explains, most doctors in the western world are paid by the number of patients they see instead of how healthy they keep their patients. He delves into the value of wearable devices in keeping people healthy – helping them avoid being in a position where they need to seek out medical attention. Correcting posture, getting enough steps, and other metrics are proven to be significant indicators of health, and the data that they collect can help us live healthier lives.
Kraft argues that “we’re going to be surrounded by lots of big data, but the trick is to turn that data into something actionable – something we can use.” I understand the desire to incorporate data from wearables into health care, but people’s health is so much more complicated than that. I worry that the proliferation of this kind of technology might discourage people from getting their yearly checkups and decrease the quality of care people receive across the board.