This is indeed a very heated issue with the rise of new technologies and the need to really educate and demand and request participating of Congress and Legislators with some forms of what is rapidly growing in healthcare technologies. There is a company called PositiveID that has been included here on the blog that makes an “implanted chip” that can connect to personal health records and it is an option for those who “want” to use the service. The company has a personal health record online as well that can connect with the chip and is available by subscription, but can be used without a chip by simply accessing information online too. I read on the web last week where some felt that the company would hold “health”records hostage if you didn’t pay up, but that is not true in the fact that the PHR can transfer records to a “free” PHR such as HealthVault and Google Health.
Some of the stir may have been created here too with the company in Florida working with Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana and United Healthcare with a company called Innovations Avocare to offer the chip and/or the personal health records to consumers. The consumer has the option to “opt out” with using an implanted chip which I would perhaps guess will be the option considered most favorable.
We come back around to the question posed here on “how long would this option be available” for consumers when the alliances with major healthcare insurers is involved. We all know they want all the data they can get their hands on for risk analysis and would there be a time when enforcement with such biometric monitoring move to the forefront? I think that portion of this issue is valid as we see other efforts being made in the biometric monitoring business with discounts being given to employees who opt in for some type of “behavioral monitoring” as this information allows insurers to further evaluate and assess risk. I write about those devices here quite a bit to create an awareness of what technology is being developed and in some areas, what is being used.
PositiveID is also working on another product that will be able to determine your glucose readings by breathing into a device and electronically connect and send data in this manner. Just for the record, they are not the only player in town when it comes to biometric monitoring but the “chip” is probably why they stand out as most other devices and systems are connected via devices that are external or that you carry with you.
This is where education and monetary connections need to be explained to the general public as most have no clue as to what is really going on. There are other technologies too that lead to fear factors such as the DOD testing their "hand held lie detector” .
Homeland Security also has a device that is portable where it can”read your mind” out there. When you read stories about how the unit was taken to a shopping mall to be test on people just “in the mall” to see what was randomly on their minds, well you get the picture here. How do you think those individuals who had no idea what was going on felt about the device reading what was on their minds without any type of notification or being offered a disclaimer to participate.
We have a lot of new “wearable” devices out there, wireless, blue tooth and more.
Below is a summary of some of what has been posted here.
Here’s a video that I have used several times here that shows a “blue tooth” inhaler, capable of capturing all types of data and reporting data for “compliance” and other analytic evaluation purposes
There’s also technology to where you can “opt” in and pay for a service that will scan your US Postal mail and convert it to email, and such a service might also panic people too wondering is their “paper” mail being scanned. There’s a wireless pillow out there too that can send your heart rates while you sleep. In the area of car insurance Progressive has a “driving monitoring chip” that will evaluate “how you drive” in testing. Allstate has an online program where you can be tested on your “brain fitness” to see if you are a capable driver.
In December of 2008 I wrote a bit of a satire/humor post about a day in the future of “Going to the Doctor” talking about both technologies that are here today and those in progress. You can check that out at the link below.
We now have a pill bottle that has been in the news of late that also sends prescription data and medication information that is bought and sold for underwriting purposes. The device is great in what it does for the consumer, but it is also building data bases of “information that can be sold” about you.
“HIPAA does not give the Department of Health and Human Services the ability to directly investigate or hold accountable entities, such as pharmacy benefit managers or companies such as Ingenix and Milliman, who are not covered by HIPAA.”
We are also growing to where aggregation of data and technologies is being intertwined and combined so will your pill bottle be talking to your shirt someday? I don’t believe that most member of Congress is aware of even half of what is being developed out there and they don’t participate in much of this as we do as citizens.
I have mentioned many times that a visual example of the algorithms included with the text in a law would really be beneficial in the fact that one it would reduce some of the text, and two lawmakers could see a visual on how information is calculated, used and in some instances “scored” for determining insurance claim payment information and premium cost.
Somewhat sadly to say some of this fear is being taken out of context and the way laws and legislators look at some of this is maybe due to a lack of participation or perhaps even reading to know what is out there and then it ends up looking like a mockery of sorts as Rachel Maddow reported yesterday. The shooting incident at the Parkview hospital stated the shooter who killed himself and 2 others thought he had been implanted with a chip back in 2001 during a surgical procedure to remove his appendix, which I don’t think that was even possible so far back, but it shows the thought processes going on, with those who are maybe considered mentally stable and those who are not.
The fear factors out there are real and especially with “behavioral underwriting” processes in place today for health insurance, the privacy and unknowns leave a lot to the imagination sometimes. We all know there are good “algorithms” and bad “algorithms” used today and this even extends up the ladder to Wall Street with the Repo 105 algorithm being questioned with Lehman. It’s all around use.
The panic situation shown is real in the fact that yes it is panic with the fear of the unknown and leads to legislation with legislators trying to protect us from “fear factors” rather than what is really there, the data being used for monetary gain. There’s no doubt about that as it is all around use and when we come out of denial and perhaps read up on what is in fact being used, the education factor might help suppress some of what we are seeing today with laws created that actually deal directly with the technology being used and developed today.
The next link might explain a bit more about what “behavioral underwriting” is.
Also, read up and see how “intelligent” coupons have become, they are out there for prescriptions too.
One insurance company wants your weight to electronically monitor you to see if early detection of congestive heart failure is occurring.
I write about these technologies to hopefully inform and bring an awareness around on how they can and are used and educate individuals on where their data is going and to question who has access, as consumers we should know. The two state legislatures focused on one item, the chip, when in fact there’s a lot more than that going on out there as this field is on fire and expanding rapidly with new data functions and information technologies almost daily. Do we have laws to protect us in this area – don’t think so as we are not to the point yet of passing daily bills and laws yet. I say yet, as who knows if it could lead to this?
Technology along with lack of up to date knowledge is what is creating this flurry of distrust and also leads to citizens not knowing which way to turn and the development of a “trust” for nobody as we live in a world with individuals that are out on the hunt for “control” of others, and that has gone on for centuries with nothing new there; however, methodologies and technologies are making this a whole new ball game so just be aware. Former President Clinton addressed the morality issues this week with one of his talks, and I think something we need to think about too, I post articles like that here quite often. Implementation and intelligence seems to be getting in the way of harmony at times instead of making it flourish.
We seem to have this growing flourish of “its for those guys over there” attitude where ever you turn. Our leaders get confused too at times in what they want or think of what “we” need.
I’m not sure what the answer here is other than leaders realizing this and conveying the message to not forget that we are humans and we should not be placing dollar signs on the “equity of living” as one, which is sadly what appears to be taking place today. We are people, not houses that have equity and some of the rationalization in this area gets very confused.
It just seems we have a lot of crossed wires today when we talk about morality, technology and equity in the same sentence, you can’t help but notice. BD