Home Invasion: The Internet of Things, Behavioral Economics and Your Health

The Internet of Things (IoT) may have already become a member of your family. If you have a connected device sitting on the counter helping you to order groceries or checking the weather, the IoT has already made your house its home.

How would you feel about one of these devices knowing more about you? A lot more.

Today, there’s a record of your favorite ice cream and your proclivity to order high-end cheeses.  Tomorrow, the IoT could measure your heart rate, your weight, whether you’ve fallen and can’t get up, and share all this information with your provider or health plan.

Depending on your point of view, sending this information over the internet to a healthcare provider is a panacea or akin to a home invasion by robots.

The IoT has the power to help improve health outcomes if providers and patients get involved. It turns out even with all the technology available today this is what patients want: physician involvement. Seventy-five percent of healthcare consumers want to create a partnership with their doctor. One where they can be a part of the decisions made about their care.

Keeping Track

In a March 2016 HealthMine survey, 50 percent of consumers said they were using a fitness/exercise app. Thirty-five percent said they used a nutrition app.

Healthcare consumers love their digital toys and enjoy keeping tabs on their heart rate and the number steps they take each day.

The challenge for the healthcare industry is getting healthcare consumers to do something with this information. Behavioral economics is, essentially, the study of getting people to do things by using incentives. For healthcare, researchers often look at getting people to:
  • Take prescribed medication;
  • Fill prescriptions; or
  • Exercise.
Not Taking Care

Healthcare consumers collect gigabytes of data about their heart rate, exercise routines and more because technology makes it effortless. But when we have to exert some energy to take our medications, eat less fatty foods or exercise—strenuous activities—will we do anything about it?

Research says “no.” The problem, researchers find time after time, is that we, in general, don’t necessarily like doing things to improve health if it takes much effort. In a randomized trial of heart attack survivors, patients who received wireless pill bottles to use as a medication reminder, potential financial incentives and social support were no more likely than the control group to reduce the possibility of future hospitalizations or lower future hospital costs.

While the IoT can be the bridge between doctors and patients, it’s hard to predict how or if health outcomes will be impacted. Even when providers offer feedback and health improvement tips, patients are often reluctant to implement the ideas in everyday life. We’re definitely sending mixed messages.

We can only hope that in the future a combination of technology, social supports, incentives and other methods will help us make better choices and improve our health.  
Blog Comments

Thank you for this information.
4/8/2020 6:20:17 AM

Thank you for this information, I appreciate your effort, please keep us update.
11/28/2019 4:13:05 AM

There's no guess with regards to the outcomes of protection invasions. On the off chance that you have reconnaissance, there are no revealed constructive effects. There's an extremely intriguing hypothesis that we expand on that kind of explains why the Internet of Things and observation are kind of assaulting us strongly.
6/29/2018 6:14:28 AM

I really relished every bit of it and I've marked to ensure that the blog post certain thing new.
6/26/2018 5:00:05 AM

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