Lately, we’ve been working to understand the implications of two seemingly disparate advancements.
The first concerns an action taken by the Department of Defense this summer. The DOD let a massive new contract for its Defense Healthcare Management System to the team of Cerner, Leidos and Accenture Federal. The project’s goal is to build a national health information network that will allow health records to follow patients no matter where they are – from a VA hospital, to a tent in a war zone, to a retail clinic, to an app on their smart phones.
The second advancement concerns all the gadgets we’ve started wearing to measure our metabolic functions. We have wristbands to chart our fitness programs, measure our fluid intake, report on our sleep patterns, and assist with our meditation practice. We even have sensors that beep when we need to apply more sunscreen. Diabetics have sensors that monitor their glucose levels continually. Patients can use their smart phones and telemedicine to consult a doctor about injuries and illnesses. Sensors can even measure and report issues like acid reflux levels and irregularities in a heartbeat.