It may not have escaped your notice that the technological advances made over the last decade have dramatically changed our way of looking at our health. The first major penetration of technology into the consumer health market was in the form of fitness trackers. With the first simplistic version being something like a glorified pedometer that literally counted your daily steps, the new generation of fitness trackers is all but easy. The amount of data produced by these new gadgets can be mind-boggling, from reading blood pressure levels to monitoring running speed.
All started with fitness (fitness trackers)
Take the Apple Watch for example. This sweet little machine isn’t just a timer. In fact, due to the fact that it can read a user’s heart rate and alert them of any anomalies, the Apple Watch is responsible for saving the lives of its users. This is exactly what happened to many computer users as their heart rate increased (or dropped) from their normal levels, and as such provided an early warning that the user would not have had before.
Another field where technology has given us health advantage is through DNA testing. Detailed DNA profiles can now be identified using a saliva swab, a waiting time of up to 6 weeks, and a nominal fee. Based on which test you take, data such as where your DNA originated, a detailed look at how your ancestors lived, and whether or not you are likely to suffer later in life for certain health problems are just two fields of expertise that can be investigated. Knowledge is power when it comes to health, and as such these companies have become a very common way of getting an overview of what our bodies might be vulnerable to, down the line.
Comprehend our special selves
Including Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s disease, several DNA test kits provide users with a wealth of information that could potentially modify the user’s behaviors and help them avoid stimuli that could cause symptoms of a predisposed disorder. This turn, could end up not only saving lives but also putting less pressure on the worldwide healthcare systems. When people become aware of how their body works on a daily basis, they are more likely to respond if an early warning sign occurs. When we start looking at our bodies the same way we look at our vehicles, in the long run it might be a very good thing for society. After all, without that flashing red light, will you change your engine oil if necessary, or would you always put your car in a position where it might be damaged? In this respect, tracking our bodies with a’ flashing red light’ can only be a good thing, and if early warning signs save lives, they will also save money in the long run.
Depending on where you get your news, in the upcoming dystopian future where you are watched 24/7, you might be filled with a sense of fear or excitement for a world where technology can help you stay safe, fit and happy. There will certainly be moments when one or two eyebrows will be raised in terms of how we use the software (as we are already experiencing), but it is worth remembering that we are at the start of this particular tech revolution.
Although there will always be skeptics, there may be incredible benefits of allowing technology to track and understand our health. The huge amount of data that we can now gather from our phones and our DNA would give an advantage to the medical field that we have never seen before. As such, rather than shying away from the unknown, they will welcome the medical tech revolution.