Scanadu breaks the record for crowdsourcing revenue at 10.5 million. What does this mean for medical technology and will this change the way we diagnose ilness?
Athletes have been tracking their health through data collection for decades, however since the advent of the smart-phone the ability to track one’s health has become far more democratic, allowing for people to track their body’s statistics via their phone. One such device is the Scanadu Scout, which claims to be a real-world Star Trek medical tricorder – giving users the power to take medical readings of their bodies that can be sent directly to their smart phones. What excites us the most about products like the Scanadu, is the potential to read and understand our body’s data. This could help make decisions about the way we exercise, what we eat and could even help in the tailoring of medicine(s) – which in my experience can be a rather clunky and time consuming course of trial and error.
The Scanadu Scout could help in the diagnosis of illnesses, or at the very least help narrow down the search. Think about it, you may be getting constant cramps, or nausea and no one has been able to work out what’s wrong. A device such as the Scanadu could scan you each time you eat to help determine if your diet is the problem. The device could also be instrumental in preventative therapy helping doctors and health professionals to see warning signs for heart disease or cancer.
Further to just reading your vital signs, devices such as the Scanadu could help to create massive pools of data to help pick out health trends. One application for this could be to better understand how someone reacts to the environment around them. Imagine if you were able to tell if you were at risk for diabetes or high-blood pressure decades before its onset, or you were able to pinpoint your illness to being in a certain location. The data could also be used by businesses to make decisions about the optimal work environments, so as that employees call in sick less often or by government to help inform redevelopment decisions and environmental policy.
As the technology evolves, being able to gather and then interpret your body’s data will become central to the way we exercise, interact with health professionals, plan business layouts and inform government policy. I’m really excited to see new developments in this sector and feel that we’re only at tip of the iceberg.
Let us know your thoughts on the comments below.