The future of self-diagnosis

Today’s inbox delivery from Fast Company was packed full of so many really great stories. included were:

It is this last story that the rest of this post refers to. I get so gosh darn excited when humans start making very practical leaps with technology. There is a video embedded in the story that illustrates the vision of one of the products competing for $10 million Tricorder X Prize. (I have also linked to it below). As I watched the video, I got chills. This is one of those products that makes the leap from science fiction to everyday reality. It looks so easy, so practical, so natural. And while watching, I found myself checking to see if I had any negative reactions. Would this make me feel unsafe? Would it make me feel like “big brother” was watching? Would that be bad?

In answer to my first question, I would have to understand more deeply what the device uses to gather data from the patient’s body. I am not going to speculate (too much) but I look forward to learn a lot more about the this device and others.

In answer to my other questions, I will begin by saying I work in healthcare. Before I worked in healthcare, I would have assumed that any population-level healthcare data was a little creepy and that I didn’t want my healthcare data to be used as an excuse to stalk me and listen in on my life.

But now my stance is soundly it the camp that sharing anything we can about ourselves will only increase the quality and access of the healthcare services available to us. There will always be people and organizations who abuse data. But the benefits of having data work for us outweighs the risk.

The video: