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MOD.Cast: Meet Alex

Posted 28 Jan

MOD. at UniSA
Alex

We’re kicking off our new season of MOD.Cast with Alex. Alex is a remote nurse who works with elderly patients living at home. They were very close with the siblings’ great-grandmother and can’t understand why she’d stop wearing her health monitoring device. In this episode, Meika Bottrill takes us on a journey into the future, interviewing experts about what the future of healthcare really looks like.

Ash Smith, Research Fellow at UniSA, says that trackers like this could be game changers for health care.

“The positives of tracking health … in chronic disease prevention is that we’ll be able to understand quicker and earlier than ever before [which] potential diseases could crop up.”

But there are issues too. Where is this data stored? How does it work with insurance companies? Could they stop covering you if they can screen you for illnesses? Or could they increase your premiums? At this point in 2020, we aren’t quite there yet. But Ash is firm that a lot more research needs to take place.

Where this data goes is an area of great concern specialty for Sal Humphries, Senior Lecturer at the University of Adelaide.

“Wearable trackers are already a commercial enterprise… they are owned by software companies. Those companies have a vested interest in selling our data, that’s how they make their money. And so the idea that we can have privacy and wearable trackers… it’s not happening now, why would it be happening in 2050?”

Sal thinks there are important considerations about wearable trackers, but the future looks bleak. There are too many issues with privacy and surveillance that just haven’t been considered.

For the time being, we are in the midst of a murky grey area. Your data profile can inform decisions around your health and your access to essential services. If you’re concerned, make sure you do your research.

MOD.Cast Season 2 was developed by and stars University of South Australia journalism students Anna Day, Meika Bottrill and Madina Jaffari. It was produced by Radio Adelaide’s Podcast Works program, with special thanks to Sarah Martin and Nikki Marcel, along with Research Marketing Coordinator, Elke Kleinig.

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