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Technology Advisor - Health advocate avatar

September 20, 2017
Health IT
From the September 2017 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Shift from disease to health potential
When more diseases can be prevented, interest will grow in how health can be created. The shift starts in the near-term, with regulators accepting the validity of surrogate markers and suites of biomarkers that individuals will use for continuous risk monitoring. As more people learn to interpret biological signals, prevention will take center stage. This success leads to a predict and prevent approach that fosters global learning cooperatives as people with shared risk factors pool their knowledge. By 2020, risk research will identify indicators for families, communities and societies, showing their health potential. Healthy communities will grow in number, and will focus on the role of compassion in creating health. The global health agenda created by these healthy communities will be supported by science and ethics.

The avatar would be able to draw relevant information from an individual’s personal records, whether medical or financial. When you interact with your avatar, you are gaining knowledge while giving information. The avatar would listen to learn what you value most and scan for evidence that confirms how your expressed values align with your actions. The avatar might scan your purchases and other evidence of lifestyle choices. It displays multiple physiological parameters, such as pulse and calories expended today. Many more biomarkers will be available in the coming years. The avatar could cross-check all this personal information with leading knowledge centers to provide personalized knowledge about your health status and potential health improvements.

Bipin Thomas
The avatar is your coach, educator and health manager. It can draw on the cumulative experience of others with similar needs, wants and values to guide decisions and provide incentives to encourage healthy behaviors. Individuals could keep the locus of control, and this might mean someone could knowingly lie to the avatar and diminish its ability to help that person reach the full potential for health. However, the health advocate avatar would operate under ethical constraints designed to assure that it conveys the best available knowledge back to the individual.

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