A rant about the Internet of Things hype.
You are here
Zuri -- color me skeptical about this and other online health records
Monitoring your health at home looks like an incredible opportunity for big and small vendors -- including Zume Life, which just announced the 'Zuri' -- a hand-held device which prompts users to take their pills and keeps track of health-related issues, including upload to a Web page that can be shared. It will cost around $200 when it is available in the spring, plus $40-50/month for Web services. And just think -- it will be available on the iPhone as well! The New York Times correctly, I think, published under the category of 'Novelties'.
Meanwhile, Microsoft's HealthVault has a partnership with Kaiser Permanente and other providers -- and the fortunate user will be able to upload data directly to their account from 50 (!) different health-related devices. And Google offers similar. Both big guns will support multiple standard formats and their basic service is free. More money is required to exchange info with their doctors MaxEmail by fax.
So let's be more than a bit skeptical about the likely adoption for this. According to the AARP Healthy@Home study, only 11% of responders age 65+ were aware of 'Internet monitoring with provider communication' (far lower than PERS 91%, or Telephone-based monitoring at 48%). And although 38% said they might be willing to use such a capability, 84% indicated they would be only willing to pay less than $50/month to do so.
This says to me that Microsoft, Google and Zume Life have a long way to go to get folks interested in uploading anything on their own -- and that may be WITH their providers engaged, as with Kaiser. Now if anyone could assert that this might lower their healthcare premium or out-of-pocket costs by at least $50/month -- now that's a different story.