BOSTON – Ashok Nare believes the next home health hub will be our cars—and that it will be possible sooner than we might think.
“We are spending a lot more time in our cars than ever before,” said Nare at last week’s Connected Health Conference in Boston. “It has become a new channel for health monitoring and management.”
Nare, founder and CEO of digital strategy provider Kollabio, said the automobile offers the perfect environment to monitor a person’s health because when that person is in their car they are seated and looking straight ahead through the windshield. There is maximum contact between the person and car, and there is a large area inside to embed sensors.
Seat belts could be outfitted in the future with sensors to monitor heart rate, respiration and stress, Nare said. Car seats could potentially track a person’s posture, fidgeting and body temperature, while the console’s sensors could track eye movement, head tilt and facial expressions. Building a connected health platform that combines these smart sensors with artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and blockchain technology creates a convergence that would allow for continuous health monitoring.
Nare said that interoperability of the technology would enable the car’s smart sensors to not only collect health data from the driver, or even the passengers, but combine that data with a person’s health record to become more predictive.
“Your seat belt could collect your heart rate data, then combine that with other data from your health record and, possibly, be able to predict a heart attack and take steps to intervene,” he said.
While the car as part of the health care continuum is definitely emerging as the next end-user platform, Nare said challenges to seeing that scenario as a reality today remain, such as the maturity of the technology, privacy and security concerns, and the rate of digital adoption. Consumers will drive the timing, he said.
“Consumers expect their data to be available where and when they want it,” Nare said. “There is a huge gap between where you get your health care and where you live your life—the car is an opportunity to fill a little more of that gap.”