Technology has pushed the boundaries of medical practices through numerous breakthroughs and technological advancements, and this can be especially seen in advances in individual health monitoring. New tools and applications such as the Fitbit have made it easier for individuals to track their activity and key biometrics. However, Fitbit captures only a handful of metrics, of which very few are actionable and used for research purpose. Jun Wang, of iCarbon X (ICX) is looking to pioneer a personal biometrics revolution built on leveraging AI to gather, analyze, and crunch health data for an individual. His goal is for an AI to continuously monitor an individual’s health and make suggestions for diet and behavior adjustments to avoid early stages of illness.
Commenting on the future benefits of Jun Wang’s vision is Dr. Imran Haque, is an internist and general practitioner based out of North Carolina. Dr. Imran Haque will leverage his considerable experience of over a decade to explain why the shift into continuous health monitoring is exciting, and why it could lead to a much healthier patient base in the future.
Continuous health monitoring through devices
Imagine if the person’s daily habits can be analyzed for the likelihood of developing early stages of a chronic disease – and if an AI can make recommendations to the person to avoid getting sick. ICX is looking to develop a myriad of devices that can provide a person with a continuous stream of their personal medical status, so that a person can get real-time feedback on their pulse, temperature, and antibody count. This means that people can be warned when their lifestyle choices or changes could lead them to potential illness, or whether their weight loss regimen is truly working or not. Having real-time feedback on personal biometrics can also give people warning if they need to drink water or require more sugar – both of which can be valuable in preventing more serious sicknesses.
To accomplish this, ICX has been exploring different hardware that allows for the collection and analysis of body fluids. Fitbit is perhaps an early pioneer of a wearable device that collects biometric information, but Jun Wang wants to take it a step further and has been experimenting with different methods of collecting body fluids. One idea has been an AI toilet that automatically collects stool samples and analyzes it. He has also worked with creating a smart mirror that conducts a 3D scan of a person’s body and displays key biometrics for a person’s morning routine, such as weight, blood pressure, and heart rate. Jun Wang’s goal is to create an ecosystem of devices that work collectively to provide a person with a comprehensive view and understanding of their personal health.
Early symptoms of chronic diseases
One of ICX’s goals is to leverage the comprehensive testing across its population to identify early stage symptoms of chronic disease. In nearly all cases today, chronic diseases are discovered well after an illness has already manifested and taken root. Medical testing today takes a snapshot of a person’s health at a slice of time, which means it’s impossible to continuously monitor a person’s health to see how their health may have changed in the early stages of a chronic disease. The benefit of ICX’s continuous health monitoring means that it become possible for the first time to identify symptoms in its early stages and to be able to draw correlation to what lifestyle changes or behavior contributes to the sickness taking root.
More efficient diagnosis
Another benefit of ICX’s comprehensive testing is that much of the data will flow back to researchers – making it possible to conduct studies on a continuous feed of information. By giving snapshots of a person’s health multiple times a day, it can give significantly more insight in how certain diseases manifest and give correlation to how lifestyle choices can have an impact on people’s health. This will lead to more effective diagnosis – doctors will have more information on patients to draw upon. Dr. Imran Haque points out that diagnosis is a two way street – patients need to provide relevant information on pain points or lifestyle changes as well as the doctor being knowledgeable enough to provide an accurate diagnosis. Providing doctors with more information on patients and the illnesses they are at risk for can only make diagnosis both more efficient and accurate.
Cheaper healthcare through preventative practices
Dr. Imran Haque is very excited for the future of medical wearables and personal biometric monitoring because it gives patients a preventative approach to illnesses for the first time. Instead of suffering from complications are arising from lifestyle choices, it becomes possible for patients to be warned of potential issues so that they can take steps to alleviate that risk. The preventative approach to personal health has huge cost saving implications. The cost difference becomes a simple equation of: low cost for a small lifestyle change or much larger cost for treatment for a late-stage illness. In the long run, being able to squash chronic diseases before they can manifest fully will make paying for expensive treatment programs less common, ultimately reducing the cost of healthcare across the board.
The future of personal health monitoring
The future of personal health monitoring can lead to cheaper healthcare by providing a preventative approach to chronic illnesses. ICX has been pioneering the way by looking to create an ecosystem of hardware and wearables which provides a person with a constant stream of health monitoring. A combination of knowing early stage symptoms for chronic diseases and providing quick feedback to avoid diseases will lead to drastically less spending on expensive disease treatment plans. Dr. Imran Haque believes that a shift towards a more preventative focus on disease prevention will make for cheaper healthcare costs, as the cost burden will shift from disease treatment to lifestyle change.