Smartphones could help to detect major disease outbreaks with biometrics systems!

31 Mar

We have all encountered devices that require biometrics to operate such as Apple’s Touch ID and even Samsung’s Galaxy heart rate monitor. While it presents a convenience, no one has really considered the potential that biometrics can offer in terms of healthcare, when used with a smartphone.

At SXSW, a themed panel on biometrics was presented, where Dr. Leslie Saxton, who is the founder of The Centre for Body Computing in LA, shared her exceptional vision with attendees. What is her vision? Dr. Saxton described a future where smartphones will be used to collect biometric data from users. The data collected would be used to keep personal medical records and even help to detect major disease outbreaks globally, such as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

How will your smartphone gather this essential data?

If you think about it, you probably check your cell phone a few hundred times a day. Consider then how valuable the data could be, if every time you checked your device it would be taking a scan that measures your blood pressure, heart rate and so on. It would be able to detect abnormalities or changes with relative ease and record them. Of course in terms of big data, scientists and medical professionals could then analyse this huge biometric cloud of medical data and notice trends that could point to major disease outbreaks.

It appears that Saxon’s vision is to see a technologically and digitally fixated world using these obsessions to benefit health care too.

Where too from here?

While it is obvious that smartphone technology as it stands is not quite ready for this advancement, with the release of each new wearable app like the heart rate monitors, and all of the headway we see in technology on a daily basis, Saxon feels that this revolution is not far off.

Addressing her concerns on privacy and security, Saxon believes that the current state of privacy is far too easily hacked and envisions a “U.N. for biometrics and security”.  To compliment the advancements in technology and protect the individual’s right to privacy, Saxon envisages a neutral global body not influenced by outside interests, which would oversee the data handling.

At Soteria Cloud we certainly agree with Saxon’s views on increased security for biometrics data. What do you think about these new proposed health care monitoring systems? Let us know!

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