60-Second Tech

Digital Health Care Puts Control in Consumer Hands

Digital health care apps, especially via smart phones, are offering users unprecedented control over their health behaviors. Larry Greenemeier reports

For years, do-it-yourself health care meant looking up your symptoms on WebMD. But smart phones are extending our control, with apps that let people plan and track workouts, monitor important health indicators, and even locate nearby clinical trials. Apple's App Store alone offers thousands of mobile health apps.

Digital health care tech isn't just for hipsters. It's also for those young merely at heart. The Aging Technology Alliance  formed a few years ago to help the elderly and their caregivers better take advantage of the latest health care tools.

Carmakers are also getting into the act. At last week's International Consumer Electronics Show, Ford showed off a prototype in-car health monitoring system. Ford's SYNC communications system will connect wirelessly to wearable Medtronic continuous glucose monitors. If the monitor senses a sugar level too high or low, it will inform the driver via SYNC's digitized voice.

Another idea is to connect drivers with allergies to Web sites like So they can steer clear of areas with high pollen counts. Of course, the best thing drivers can do for their health is to watch the road.

—Larry Greenemeier

[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]  

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