I was chatting with a fellow soccer parent the other day and we got to talking about technology. Specifically, home health technology.
This parent has been a physician for years—in a couple of big cities and, just now, in a very small town in New Hampshire. He’s educated and well read, and, while he may be practicing medicine in a small town, his breadth of knowledge doesn’t seem to be “small town.”
As we were getting to know each other, he asked me what I did for work. I told him I had recently begun writing about the topic of home health technology and I was becoming immersed in the world of wearable devices, medical adherence, telehealth and health apps . I told him that I was astonished at the new technologies out there and how they might change health care as we know it today.
He explained to me that the idea of a person being visited by a hologram of a physician made him sad. He explained that when he visits an elderly patient in a nursing home, though it might be tough to squeeze that time into his schedule, it’s as much of a social visit for both of them as it is a medical check-in. He longs for a world where assisted living facilities are located right in the center of town where the people are—next to the elementary schools or churches—rather than in an isolated pastoral location chosen more for the family of the patient than the patient herself.
We debated the questions of whether today’s health technology is being created for technology’s sake, or is it being created for the greater good? Are today’s technology developers really asking the end user what they want or need before actually manufacturing a new device?
Half-time was over and the referee blew his whistle. The answers would have to wait for now.