Implantable Human Black Boxes

from the tie-this-in-with-the-TIA-and-think-of-the-possibilities dept

About five years ago, for no particular reason, I passed out one evening. I was with some friends, and I was still marginally conscience (I could hear, but not see or move). It lasted two or three minutes and then everything was fine. I spent a day at the doctor’s going through all sorts of tests that ended with a big shrug. Apparently, that sorta stuff “just happens” to some people every once in a while. It’s never happened to me since then (and I hope it never does again). However, in the future, there may be a better way for doctors to determine what happened in a situation like that. It seems that the next big trend in medical devices is implantable monitors that record things in the body for doctors to examine after the fact – and help them to prevent certain medical conditions. These have been particularly useful in determining why people experience fainting spells. As they get more advanced, you’ll be able to have your monitor send your doctor an email with all the pertinent details whenever anything happens. Of course, I can just see John Poindexter getting all excited about how he can take all this internal monitor information and include it in his Total Information Awareness Program…

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Comments on “Implantable Human Black Boxes”

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dorpus says:

And the health insurers will...

I can just see different device makers having all different formats of data. They will all be mutually incompatible, so medical transcribers in rural Michigan or Guyana will have to fill out forms in pencil and paper to send to insurance companies. Data entry errors result in patients being given wrong dosages of medication or sudden hikes in premiums. Doctors never read email anyway, so they’ll delete whatever garbage statistics fill their inbox.

Or if the system does work, patients with bad data but no perceivable medical problems will be punished through hikes in insurance premiums.

Sorry, but this reads exactly like the kind of medical device that will fail in the real world, due to poor integration of IT. In the health care field, IT products need to be sold as part of an integrated system.

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