October 17, 2011
Car Measures Blood Sugar
Your car as a doctor.
Your car may soon be able to warn you if your blood sugar dips, alert you to high pollen counts, and remind you to take your medication. Ford demonstrated the new in-car technology—currently a research project—this week at the Wireless Health 2011 conference in La Jolla, California.
Cars, homes, cell phones, office chairs, clothing should all measure us and report to a medical diagnostic server that tracks our health and runs expert systems diagnostic apps to detect problems. Also, embedded sensors should test our blood continuously.
We need a different economic model for medicine so that mobile medical technology and the home as a medical lab (get diagnosed while you sleep - why not?) become a reality.
One of the easiest things to predict about the future: more data will flow. But how soon will we make it useful for things that matter like our own health? It is all well and good to be able to use your cell phone to check your email. But remember my motto: First, don't die.
>"Also, embedded sensors should test our blood continuously."
Then the car will refuse to start if it detects that your blood-alchohol level is too high.
I'm sure this world is coming but I don't have to like it.
>One of the easiest things to predict about the future: more data will flow."
Which will enable government to take control of our lives at ever finer levels. It's going to be a Brave New World all right.
I had a blog post on one version of this a while back.
My cell phone has a simple game on it, which I often play while waiting for something. Performance on the game depends in part on reaction speed, mental alertness, and similar characteristics. It should be possible to add to the game a background process that would keep track of the characteristics of the player as shown in his play, notice if they declined substantially for a period of more than a few days, and if they did suggest to the player that he might want to have a medical checkup to see if there was something wrong with him.
An idea that occurred to me after I passed out from what turned out to be the effects of a (benign--i.e. non-cancerous) tumor. Dealing with it would have been somewhat easier if I had spotted it a year or so earlier.
A daily cognitive performance test would also be interesting to correlate with other factors aside from a disease:
- how much sleep you are getting.
- big life stress events.
- levels of working.
- amounts of exercise.
It would be persuasive to quite a few people to see a graph of their cognitive performance compared to how much they are sleeping, eating, walking, running, working, etc. Imagine a self-monitoring smart phone (and perhaps something worn to collect sleeping and other activity) that detects how long you stay at the office, how much you work, your time asleep, and so on. I think it would be cool to get that amount of information on oneself. One could get warnings about sleep deficits, slowing coordination, and other problems just due to bad lifestyle.
Surprisingly, the amount of sugar one consumes daily correlates inversely with the cost of one's car.
So eat less sugar, and you'll be able to afford a more desirable car.