At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Ford Motor Co. partnered with Microsoft and health care start-up Healthrageous to roll out a pretty interesting health care product: A car equipped to monitor vital signs and feed that data wirelessly into an electronic medical record to watch out for any abnormalities or warning signs. Or, as Ford describes the new product, it’s a “doctor in your car.”
The prototype that Ford has shown off doesn’t have the skills of a physician in diagnosing diseases (there is, however, another machine for that: IBM supercomputer Dr. Watson). But it does look like the kind of device that could support those diagnoses, a non-obtrusive way to capture a lot of health-care data that currently goes unmonitored.
It sounds a lot like a step toward the health care future that M.I.T.’s Frank Moss imagined in a recent New York Times op-ed, where “inconspicuous wireless sensors worn on your body and placed in your home would continuously monitor your vital signs” and “wristbands would measure your levels of arousal, attention and anxiety.”
Silicon Valley investor Vinod Khosla outlined a similar future recently over at TechCrunch. The outcome, they hope, will a health care system where doctors have more access to data, and a better understanding of how the human body works — all driven by a constant stream of information while it’s actually at work.