Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Wearable computing for hygiene behavior tracking.

Medgadget Story >>

"Please Note: Employees must wash hands... and wear these special behavior-tracking wrist bands."

On one hand I see this concept as a good idea, on the other hand as rather intrusive.

The concept of gadgets tracking our healthcare habits isn't so strange any longer, and it will get less so going forward. Many electric toothbrushes, for example, monitor the amount of time the user spends brushing and some even go further, tracking such things as pressure on the gums. Smartphone apps can record the level of daily activity and prod the owner to get moving, and I've read about specialized computer mice which can check the user's stress levels via the fingertip and advise accordingly.

But now the same technical components can be used by employers to monitor as well as change workers' behavior. Here's a wrist-worn device from a startup called IntelligentM which can track employees seven days per week, 24 hours per day. The device works using accelerometers and RFID to track where a hospital employee is and how properly and how often they wash their hands.

Is this an example of the use of sensors for good hygiene instead of evil? I can see the argument given the stats mentioned in the video below. But, on the other hand, it is a bit Big Brother like. Just hope you don't get called to hospital room 101 for employee evaluation.

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