When you realize you're sick, what's the first thing you do? You often call the doctor, or in my case, my aunt, who has been a registered nurse for over 20 years. My family deems my aunt the family doctor, since she saves us on trips to the doctor for something that we can treat with over-the-counter (OTC) medication. In many circumstances, though, calling your aunt, the family doctor/nurse, is not enough. In those times, you need to call the doctor, but the current world we live in sees doctors as the person to call after you realize you're sick. What about living in a world where your mobile device calls the doctor before you even start having symptoms?
This is what Google's Android Wear head, David Singleton, expressed in a recent interview about Google's plans for Android Wear. "We have this aspiration that eventually the doctor should call you. So your wearable is able to keep track of your wellness in such a way that rather than you having to think, 'Oh, I'm not feeling so great, maybe I should go to the doctor,' this system can actually present something to your doctor and say 'yeah actually we should get this checked out,' and call you and get you to come in."
While this idea for wearables, specifically the Android Wear platform, is a genius idea, smartwatches will also continue to pose problems for individuals who are big on privacy. Even with smartwatches in the future that can detect medical problems or conditions before we're aware of them, some individuals may not want to be treated for certain health complications -- and these individuals also have a right to refuse treatment. Some may find the idea of your doctor calling you out of the blue to be a rather frightening thought. While we've all seen Minority Report some years ago and thought that a Pre-Crime lab is a pretty cool idea, it does seem rather strange that a machine could predict when someone would commit a crime. After all, humans have a will that can change in a split second -- so how could a machine predict that?
The same can be said for wearables, though consumers with major health conditions (heart issues like COPD or a history of heart attack or stroke) will be grateful for such innovative measures. Google certainly seems to want to improve health with smartwatches, and we're grateful for the outlook.