I would like to see Microsoft to be positioned as:
“Microsoft is a company that deeply cares for people.”
- Healthcare (Microsoft Band & Microsoft Health)
- Education (Microsoft Book)
- Privacy Concerns
- With Windows 10 feedback invitation and Android Office preview feedback invitation, Microsoft has made it clear that Microsoft cares for what its consumers want.
Microsoft Band and How “‘Wearables” Might Revolutionize US Healthcare
One of the trends of 2014 in technology has been release of “Wearables” – computers you can wear on your body.
The latest kid in “Wearables” is “Microsoft Band” and the platform “Microsoft Health”
Microsoft Band and Microsoft Health could prove to be revolutionary by playing a vital role in urging people to make better lifestyle choices and reduce diseases and in the long run, reduce Healthcare costs.
- Social Layer, Gamification Layer, Quantified Self & US Healthcare
- The Privacy Concern
- The “Aesthetics” Factor
Social Layer, Gamification Layer, Quantified Self & US Healthcare
A Social Layer has to be built on top of Microsoft Health.
- Social pressure
- Motivations from friends and family,
- Awareness and knowledge of health benefits
can make wonders.
“I ran 5 miles … Let me see…. Jim ran 7 miles today …. OK, I’ll run 8 miles tomorrow.”
The Quantifies Self movement or a variant of it or an expansion has to be spread among general people.
What better scenario could there be than conscious Citizens taking care of their own health?
A Gamification Layer on top of the Social Layer would make things even better.
“Let’s see who can reduce weight by 10 pounds in the least amount of time.”
A few more sensors / additional sensor modules (that can be added later – if you want) would be required.
Imagine, how much an effect reducing average weight of Americans (“the obesity epidemic”) would have on US Healthcare System.
Social Layeris the key. [I’ll design the social layer.]
It can only happen in a social setting – people motivating, encouraging each other, spreading the awareness and knowledge and know-hows.
The Privacy Concern [in case of Wearables]
Privacy would be vital.
I’ll make sure personal data is not abused.
Your health data getting into the hands of Insurance Companies could have horrible consequences.
No one would want Insurance Companies to use “personal” health data for determination of Insurance prices. “Personal” is the key, which means
“So, this guy’s wearables say he has very high risk for Heart Diseases and we are not going to sell insurance to him but only to those who have low risks for Heart Disease.”
The whole point of Insurance is reducing risks of “all buyers” as a whole and if the amount of “individual” risk gets very much predictable – then this overall effect (of reducing risks) is lost.
Besides, No one would want readings to be taken while one is in one’s bedroom, unless the user permits.
We have to be very explicit about – how users’ data that we collect is being “used” or “misused”.
When you design “wearables”, aesthetics should always be at the top of the “requirements” list.
When people “wear” gadgets, people want them to be “beautiful”. “Fashion concern” plays a huge role.
And people want to “wear” gadgets that are different than what others wear – to distinguish themselves.
So giving consumers a lot of variations and options to choose from – is the right approach when designing “wearables”.
This applies to Microsoft Band and Google Glass and all the other gadgets that fall into the “wearables” category.
“Why not prioritize disease prevention programs and motivational programs that encourage healthy lifestyle choices so that we have less sick people to start with? Obesity and poor lifestyle choices are surely among causes of diseases. Less sick people translates into less visits to doctors and less visits to doctors translate into less health insurance prices. If health insurance prices go down, more people would have health insurances.
Let’s try to understand it through an example.
Suppose, visits to doctor cost a person say, “A” $100 a month and another person say, “B” $50 a month. Now, the insurance company that sells healthcare insurances to “A” and “B”, sells each of the monthly insurances for $80. So, “A” and “B” together spend $80 + $80 = $160 to buy their insurances and the insurance company has to spend $100 + $50 = $150 to bear the cost of visits to doctor. Now, suppose “A” and “B” learned to take better care of their health. As a result, they have monthly healthcare costs of $60 and $40 respectively. Now, the insurance company has no way but to reduce their insurance fees. Thus, by taking better care of their health, “A” and “B” forced the insurance companies to reduce prices for insurance.“