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Truckers Can No Longer Text from the Dept of Transportation – But What If This is Your Wellness Coach Calling?

Posted Jan 26 2010 6:37pm

We do have a hard time, all of us, self included at times too with devices that distract us, and with the emergence of biometric monitoring, how are we going to imagehandle this with additional devices, emails, text messages, etc. if we have a hard time with cell phones?  I like all the technology and information it has to offer, but we still need to think of how we as real people can benefit and have it make simple, otherwise we won’t participate.  There’s a lot of talk about disruptive and distracting technology, but there’s nothing like experiencing this first hand to understand it, like all the experts on the internet who talk about personal health records but yet don’t even attempt to use one themselves.  This is right on the same track.  

Sure you can put penalties out there for those who don’t, but again I think of all the emerging technology in this area, funded with short term venture capital money who need sales to stay in business and wonder about implementation studies and how all this will come together.  Would one be penalized for not answering a text message, or with offensive type monitoring going on as well, would there be an all out “search” issued to see if you have fallen down somewhere.  We have a myriad of devices out there and lots of choices and lots of software. 

Wireless Monitoring With Medical Devices – There are Many Posts About These at the Medical Quack

What if you were a driver, lets say doing your job, driving the truck and you get a text message saying you have not done enough moving around today, you have not been active enough?  Does the driver stop the truck, pull off the side of the road and do some jumping jacks right there?  Obviously the activity of getting out of the truck will show movement, but some of the wellness programs are tied to incentives for discounts off premiums, so would the driver be penalized for not meeting his exercise goals?  Some occupations might lend themselves to different types of technologies used too.  Do we turn these off after working hours?   A couple of universities have studies revolving around this topic, called “participatory sensing”. 

The White House too is certainly cued in here as well with recent discussions on the topic.  One company has an answer where you can “wear” your blue tooth and wireless, and I guess you might be able to touch your sleeve to send a message back in time?  Here’s your new nightshirt of the future, and don’t forget that sleep apnea device too. Once you are outfitted up for the night, well you just might forget about sex, besides that sleep apnea machine could be a little kinky and awkward to work around so you might be losing out on that opportunity of having sex twice a week to reduce your odds of a heart attack or stroke. 

Yes I am writing with a bit of humor here as I try to do to make some points of awareness here as disruption and distraction go beyond just the cell phone and those are other areas that need to be included with some of these studies too, otherwise disruption will conquer all in a very short amount of time and everything we worked towards could go down the toilet pretty quickly, not to mention that people may not like or understand why this is happening.  Again as I have said many times, let’s outfit members of Congress with some of this so they comprehend what is going on in healthcare today and bring some important participants into the fold.  Can you see in the middle of a law making session text messages telling members they are not getting enough exercise and every one standing up to move and walk around, and then report back with a text message to their wellness coach, yes I agree a sight to be seen, but it would bring all of this closer to reality and eliminate many of the misconceptions that are out there today as to how devices are emerging into biometric monitoring and being used as incentives to lower insurance costs in some areas.  Everybody looks for compliance but it has to come at a level of human tolerance and ability to function.  BD  

Granted this is good safety move here with the DOT, but again what about the rest of the show, the healthcare applications?  This is one of those areas too where you don’t really know until you get participants and it needs to go beyond a “proof of concept”. 

The Department of Transportation on Tuesday issued a nationwide ban that prohibits commercial truckers from texting on their cell phones or other devices while driving.

"We want drivers of the big rigs and buses and those who share the roads with them to be safe," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, in a statement.

Under the new rules, truck and bus drivers caught texting face criminal and civil fines of up to $2,750. Authorities said the regulatory decision is intended to ensure that drivers' focus stays on the roads.

"Our regulations will help prevent unsafe activity within the cab," said Anne Ferro, administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

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