Are we becoming digital hypochondriacs?

hypochondriac

Will the development of technologies and tools able to monitor the state of our health, such as the smartphone revealing ECG (or EKG) and cardiovascular manifestations, amplify our fears and change our relationship with doctors?

The reportage of Angela Chen from “The Verge” tries to answer to these questions, inquiring about the risk that the increasing available information could persuade many healthy people to require unnecessary medical and laboratory tests, so creating a health system crisis.

To understand the implication these new features will have, The Verge visited the University of California in San Francisco, to test the Apple Watch EKG compared to a professional EKG made in laboratory, and interviewed experts as doctor Gregory Marcus of UCSF and doctor Seth Landefeld of University of Alabama in Birmingham to know either positive and negative implications of having available so many information on our heath.

This interesting video – in English with subtitles – shows the results of the enquire.

Being a new phenomenon, time is necessary to metabolize and understand how take advantage of the new technology potentialities. But, in my opinion, this process should be studied and set up by competence centres or national agencies committed to the research of new technologies applied to the health sector. Leaving this duty to single organizations and/or to doctors could result very dispersive and often counter-productive.

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