Sunday, March 25, 2012

iCare: The Health Applet, #ThisWeek

“When I touch here, does it hurt?” Obamacare is one of the top issues lately. It's on the desk of the Supreme Court. The main argument against it was that it forces everybody to pay healthcare, which is not much of an argument when you consider that Child-Support laws (and Civil code) already do that. What's overlooked is the digital part; the part that says lets take all the paperwork bottlenecks, digitize it, offer new Health UIs, and allow more personal mobility of your medical history.

Romney wants Obamacare wiped off the face of the Earth. He doesn't offer any clear alternative. He doesn't even say anything about the digital effort of Obamacare. If we just toss out Obamacare altogether (by the Supreme Court, Romney hopes), it will make all states look bad on their Child-Support laws as unconstitutional. It will also set-back all healthcare technology that has prepared itself for the digital change in medical records. Despite party bias, other conservatives makes Romney appear like he doesn't care.

Us developers can imagine how the iCare applet would evolve the healthcare industry. One recent experiment, by doctors, let's those with asthma record where they use their inhaler. An iPhone™ app let's the user track their own inhaler usage. Everybody's GPS data is then available for awareness of hotspots that affect people with asthma. They hope to determine specific trees, plants, smoggy areas, and like. I'm sure that people want Obamacare to mainstream such experiment under its digital security efforts.

Maybe that security extends to the register at the food market such that, when you check-out your food, you will receive that health nutrition facts on your iPad™. I look at all sides of security, which includes that kind of security that businesses wants: guaranteed flow. That is essential in markets that want information on the kinds of food you want in order to provide the freshest food. How many times have you walked by the banana stand and seen half of them already brown? Did they buy too many? Or maybe they could have distribute them to another store that could sell them before they go bad. Less waste means better health for the immediate environment; that's the idea. Beyond that, there are programs that let you manually input everything you eat; it then analyzes your diet. There are different ideas on how we could automate that manual input, yet let's consider how that information can more easily reach your doctor.

Wouldn't it be nice if you could more easily interact with doctors through your iPad™ camera instead of answer blind questions through 911 voice calls? When I look at the iPad™, I think that the i911-button is the one thing that is missing from it. We can imagine how someone could take live images of injuries, and how that works with software that recognizes body parts. Google had one app that let us zoom around the human body and explore, which could be redone such that you touch where it hurts. We can hope the Supreme Court at least considers the i911 services of such real-time communications.

The main issue is medical history, and how we communicate that with our doctors could mean coverage or no coverage. For people that lack medical history, even if they had medical history, that could mean they wait years, again, until there is sufficient medical history for qualifications. In the case of Social Security benefits, that is one of the must-haves. With the contract health-care units we have known, someone may have lost those medical records, as they go to another contract health-care unit or State records. With the digital plan, we enable more archives of those records, especially online, so there is almost no chance of loss of those records. What people overlook with past health-care plans is that you need some job that has them (or to support them), yet, with disabilities, you may not get hired again for the coverage you need. Another hope for Obamacare, iCare, or any change away from past health-care, is greater communication and less discrimination.

P.S. I would love some job applet that lists all available work within any given zip code and that filters those job posts by disabilities. That way we know we do not have to exploit our medical information before any interview. Does your job support all ages and all disabilities? I can imagine how any such iCare app would tie in to that job applet, so you get the health-care and job you need. Imagine, "has this job been doctor approved?" How do you know the air-quality of the job accomodates you (or your asthma) before the interview?

P.P.S. Note that businesses want perfect people hired; becuase they have private health-care plans that do not "rollover" when unused. That means more money, at every fiscal year, for the business if they hire only healthy people that have no need for their benefit money. Shouldn't you get that money back, especially those pre-tax accounts?