New models of wellness and care are necessary to address this human crisis and bring costs down to sustainable levels. Innovation in a single area – be that technology, analytics, payment models, government regulation or care delivery models – is not enough.
Cooperative efforts are needed to develop scalable technologies and make them widely available, align stakeholder incentives for data sharing, build environments that support healthy lifestyles, and reshape the way consumers think about their health.
Technology will enable smarter cities and smarter choices...
Globally, people with diabetes are generally clustered in urban areas. Better artificial intelligence, cheap, ubiquitous sensors, and cloud or fog computing create new possibilities for creating environments that support healthy behaviors.
For example, as cities grow smarter, switching between driverless cars, mass transit and manual transport (walking, bike shares) may become seamless.
Health care applications can already use sensor-enabled activity trackers to provide well-timed incentives to nudge healthy behaviors for consumers who want to set themselves activity targets.
But by combining these trackers with electronic health records, this technology could be leveraged to support people at risk of diabetes or obesity, by suggesting changes such as such as walking the few blocks to a bus stop or biking. Such small changes, made across a lifetime, can mean the difference between active, healthy aging and a middle-to-late life filled with chronic diseases.