Riding The Digital Wave To Health And Wellness
The Washington Post reports on how the business of new, high-tech efforts to quantify the healthiness of consumers’ lifestyles is evolving into big business with immense health and privacy ramifications. In other news, USA Today offers an update regarding federal regulations of wellness plans.
The Washington Post:
The Human Upgrade: The Revolution Will Be Digitized
Now 66, [Larry] Smarr is the unlikely hero of a global movement among ordinary people to “quantify” themselves using wearable fitness gadgets, medical equipment, headcams, traditional lab tests and homemade contraptions, all with the goal of finding ways to optimize their bodies and minds to live longer, healthier lives — and perhaps to discover some important truth about themselves and their purpose in life. The explosion in extreme tracking is part of a digital revolution in health care led by the tech visionaries who created Apple, Google, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems. Using the chips, database and algorithms that powered the information revolution of the past few decades, these new billionaires now are attempting to rebuild, regenerate and reprogram the human body. (Cha, 5/9)
Feds Ease Up On Wellness Programs
The government has reversed itself and said employer-sponsored wellness programs don't necessarily discriminate against workers. But businesses offering the plans to their employees are still struggling to show the programs can cut health care costs. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has proposed a rule change, now saying that cutting workers' insurance premiums as an incentive for them to get health screening tests or improve their health scores doesn't violate federal disabilities laws as long as Obamacare and federal privacy rules are met. (O'Donnell, 5/10)
Related KHN Coverage: EEOC Proposal On Wellness Program Earns Business Praise, Consumer Concerns (Andrews, 4/17)