Somewhere nearby in a neighborhood park, a man with a severe nut allergy inadvertently bites into a cookie baked in a factory that stores nuts. Moments later, before his body can manifest any visible signs of a reaction, a drone arrives on the scene and administers the exact amount of epinephrine needed to counteract anaphylactic shock. Crisis averted.
This futuristic scenario is an example of a technology fusion that’s already in the early stages of development. It’s called Digital Cohesion—an era in which multiple apps self-assemble to deliver new, predictive services that automatically and continually adapt to human behavior. It can apply to almost every aspect of our personal and business lives.
In healthcare, Digital Cohesion will bring together a user’s location and health information, along with a variety of applications, creating a medical megaservice that provides preventive and emergency care. The service is personalized, corresponding with an individual’s medical and behavioral profile. It can monitor health-related details such as diet, exercise, and cognitive data, combining that data with transportation and payment apps, Internet of Things (IoT)-based apps, and many other types of applications, merging them into a single holistic service. Users receive a superior experience and, more importantly, ultra-fast response times and treatments for health-related events.
How It Works
In the case of the man with nut allergies, a small device on his wrist contains sensors that continuously monitor his vital signs. It’s wirelessly connected to a medical service that also tracks what he eats, assesses his overall health, and takes action when necessary—such as when it detects the ingestion of tree nuts. The same service could also avert strokes, heart attacks, diabetic comas, and hundreds of other conditions.
The medical applications of Digital Cohesion aren’t limited to emergencies. Sensors can monitor diet and health in real-time and combine that data with each individual’s DNA material and medical history to encourage better choices. These sensors can be embedded in ingestible pills that are powered by stomach acids. They can carry out tasks such as alerting a patient or a caregiver to a missed medication, or monitoring changes in the patient’s vitals. All these activities will work together to prevent disease, save lives, and provide healthcare cost savings in the billions.
Helping Medicine Scale
Digital Cohesion represents a direction that will become increasingly necessary in medicine. Between 1900 and 2016, the world population has increased from 1.5 billion to about 7 billion. As our population grows and ages, caring for the number of people afflicted with chronic illnesses and disabilities becomes a daunting challenge for the medical community. It also places a staggering economic burden on government, insurance companies, and individuals. Without a new approach to medicine, the world’s caregiving resources simply cannot scale into the future.
Digital Cohesion can provide a way to help expand the reach of medical care for our growing population. It allows caregivers to securely and automatically combine all the data and applications relevant to a single individual. The ensuing system can then autonomously predict health events and outcomes, saving lives, and delivering a combined healthcare service that is far more valuable than the sum of its separate parts.
Learn more about Digital Cohesion in our resources, below.