WellnessFX and Better Healthcare.

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Icon from Nuvola icon theme for KDE 3.x. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been watching a company called WellnessFX for some time now, and am very excited that they have expanded their services into Pennsylvania. It is companies like WellnessFX that in my opinion offer us the best hope of reducing our ever increasing healthcare costs while simultaneously delivering heightened levels of care.

So what is WellnessFX? WellnessFX is a service that partners with local labs to provide comprehensive blood tests which are automatically uploaded and analyzed by WellnessFX, providing deep insights into one’s current health in a web-based dashboard.

This would be enough for me – but WellnessFX also includes a 20 min. consult with a healthcare professional regarding your results.

Now, I haven’t used the service yet. It does cost $199 and if I use it I would want to use it on a semi-regular basis (to track health over time) – probably at least three times a year ($600/yr.). I don’t have the extra cash lying around at the moment – but I’m excited that such a service is becoming so affordable and that there is the opportunity for much more proactive monitoring of one’s health.

What do you think? Would you use a service like WellnessFX? Why or why not? How much of a positive effect could this sort of proactive monitoring have on individual health? Would it result in cost reductions overall? Should health insurance cover this sort of proactive monitoring?

Ingestible Smart Pills and the Future of Medicine.

I love where medicine is heading these days – from reactive to proactive. I’m a big fan of personalized medicine – and have a Zeo and a subscription to 23andMe. I’m

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always keeping my eyes open for the latest developments and when I recently changed primary physicians I purposely looked for one that utilized electronic health records.

It appears that some of the first ingestible smart pills are about to be commercially available. You can learn more in Brian Dolan’s article for mobihealthnews. I’m looking forward to someday taking an ingestible smart pill that will wirelessly communicate with my computer to track and analyze my health, such as:

  • Did I remember to take my medications today and at what time?
  • What did I eat today? How many calories were involved?
  • How much exercise did I get? At what times and in what intensity?
  • What vitamins, minerals, or other trace elements do I need to consume more of?
  • Has there been an increase or decrease in x or y that indicates a concerning health issue I should be aware of?
  • How much stress did I suffer throughout the day?
  • How much sleep did I get and what was the quality of my sleep?

I think such personalized medicine could help bring our healthcare costs under control. Think about it…

  • We’d be reminded to take important medications.
  • We’d easily hold ourselves accountable for our caloric intake and exercise.
  • We’d increase the nutritional value of our intake as we saw areas in which our diet was specifically weak and were able to track progress in remedying this situation over time.
  • We’d be able to determine exactly what supplements would be helpful for us.
  • Numerous health issues could be detected long before they became a crisis – avoiding numerous hospitalizations and other emergency procedures which are extremely expensive.
  • Diabetics and others with chronic illnesses would be able to constantly monitor their condition.