If you have been following the news at all lately you will see a push towards moving more and more of our personal data onto the internet.
Now I am not sure about you, but isn’t this the same internet that is full of viruses, spam, malware and other very bad things? How can we possibly consider moving sensitive medical and financial data on the internet? After all over the past years we have watched in mute rage and fear as we hear news stories about large companies and government workers losing laptops filled with sensitive data.
But for some strange reason it is ok for push this information into that same insecure place. Intel is behind one of the latest pushes in this area. They are working on a device that can send diagnostic information from a personal medical device from your house to your doctor. One of these called the Health Guide [announced in November 2008] is meant to help care for people with chronic conditions. The Guide can send information to a caregiver about the state of the patient and provides and online access point for “remote” care.
Now here is the rub, what happens when that very database becomes a target for malicious coders? What would happen in the event of a DDOS? I can’t help but wonder how with the current polluted state of the Internet we can possibly hope to move this type of critical information and health care from personal interaction to computer driven remote isolation.
I am all for technological advances [in fact I look forward to them] but I think that we are moving too quickly away from human interaction here. Internet should be used as a way to remove boundaries, such as the recent case of mother using the internet to find help for her sick child. A doctor located hundreds of miles away came to her aid and set the diagnose, alongside proper medications. It is that fusion between different elements that is needed to improve healthcare, not uploading your personal data somewhere.
After all, it has been shown that the more attention a person with chronic conditions or ailments is shown the better they do. How will the removal of human interaction and attention affect these people?