Health Data and Our Everyday Life
Increasing Automation, Disappearing Pharmacies
This year’s new APPLE product launches, such as iPhone 14 and APPLE WATCH 8, are fresh in our minds. New features this year, such as collision detection and skin temperature sensors, are also expanding into healthcare. Meanwhile, big tech companies other than apple are also gaining momentum. space, while Google is using data storage and AI to provide clinical care. The evolution of big data platforms and AI is enabling automated recording and forecasting, and the “automation of medicine” is advancing rapidly. In the past few years, demand for medical automation has been rising for telemedicine and home care, as the spread of the coronavirus has discouraged casual visits to hospitals. Particularly fast-growing is the pharmacy automation market, which will reach a CAGR of 5.45% by 2028. , which include processes from dispensing, packaging, labeling, and storage to over the counter operations, are expected to help streamline pharmacy workflow and reduce errors. In this week’s newsletter, we will examine how emerging technologies are impacting the healthcare industry, with a focus on femtech and sleep.
Tracking the waves of your physical condition
How do I deal with my physical condition and mood, which change daily during the course of a month?
I am particularly troubled by the fluctuations in my appetite and emotional state caused by changes in female hormones, and I am always very careful about how I schedule my appointments. However, whether there is sufficient understanding of the symptoms and countermeasures around us, there still seems to be room for improvement. In fact, according to a McKinsey & Company report, only 1% of the approximately $200 billion spent on health care research and development is focused on women’s health.
While we wait for people around us to understand and for the issue to be openly discussed, digital-enabled health care will encourage healthier and more comfortable lives. The industry now known as femtech, or women’s technology, is expected to be worth US$60 billion by 2027. I recently installed an app called Care Me. It manages not only menstrual cycles, but also heart conditions and even pill dosing all in one place, and allows users to share the information with their partners.
Tracking one’s health will help one to have a better outlook on one’s daily schedule, and will also help in the early detection of illnesses. Of particular note is the issue of privacy. Recently, there has been a growing movement in the U.S. to uninstall menstrual management apps from devices. This is because in states where abortion is a crime, prosecutors may request information collected by these apps when prosecuting someone. We cannot turn a blind eye to the negative aspects of the digitalization of health care.
Physical conditions have detailed individual differences in both symptoms and how they are felt. That is why access to personal health data should be secure and simple. The ability to pursue one’s own personal health by analyzing data will lead to a more comfortable and energetic life.
Digital for childcare support
All I want is for my child to grow up healthy. This must be the earnest wish of many parents. I myself have a daughter who is about to turn two years old, and it is a joyful moment for me to look at the monthly growth records of her height and weight. Children’s growth is, in other words, their health, and health care is extremely important. When we think about children’s health again, we routinely record their body temperature, toilet frequency, and diet. Therefore, when there are symptoms such as “fever” or “not pooping”, they can be taken to the hospital. On the other hand, the only record of developmental status is a check sheet to be filled out before regular checkups. Do you look at me when I call your name? Does he look in the direction I point? and dozens of other questions to be answered and submitted to the doctor. However, this is basically for the doctors to decide, and it is difficult for parents to link this to appropriate actions. Even growth rates are unique. In this context, a service for local governments called “tekuteku,” a digital children’s notebook, will be launched in May 2022. The service plans to add a function called “developmental assessment” by the end of 2022, which will encourage parents to consult with a dedicated contact point set up by the local government when necessary after answering checkpoints set for each age group. Of course, there are those who say that “intuition and experience” are necessary in child-rearing, and there are situations in which this is actually true. Nevertheless, digital child-rearing support will play an important complementary role, supporting the health of more parents and their children.
Crossing Borders with Digital Health
The Nordic Council aims to integrate medical services across the Nordic region by 2030. As a first step, they are providing NordDEC, a set of common standards to evaluate the safety and interoperability of digital health services. The ultimate goal is to lead the world in the widespread adoption of connected health.
Between Privacy and Convenience
Meta is facing a lawsuit for allegedly collecting and using patients’ health data for targeted advertising without permission. It is reported that hospitals and Meta shared highly confidential data through behavior tracking tools. As health data utilization advances, ensuring transparency in its handling will become a critical topic.
AI and Mental Health
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that two out of three people suffering from depression do not receive a proper diagnosis. AI could potentially provide appropriate healthcare to more individuals. For example, it has been found that analyzing the pitch and rhythm of a voice sample can detect signs of depression.