Welcome to 2013, the year when it finally started paying just to be healthy. Health tech is about to go BIG, and healthy folk could soon be saving a small fortune just because they’re healthy. Regular readers of Burntech.tv are naturally healthy folk, or at least i assume they are because they are reading a blog which is predominantly all about fitness and health technology, and how it can improve our goals. Fitness technology can really pay – as we investigated in our recent article which looks at ways that fitness technology can save you £5,000 a year. In this article i am going to look at tips to use health technology to save money by being healthy. I am also going to look at other ways that being healthy pays, so buckle up and prepare to get rewarded for all that gym time.
if Fitness is half the equation, health is the other half. Health is big business, with the NHS in the UK a billion pound institution in its own right. Healthcare in the States is a whole different ball game, with private companies making health care a competitive and hugely profitable enterprise.
On that note, meet Tim Chang. Tim is a hugely successful VC investor who has been recognised as one of Forbes top 100 dealmakers. Tim knows a thing or two about investment analysis, and he thinks health tech is about to boom. More then that, Chang believes that health tech is about to boom like PCs did in the 1970s. in essence, big VCs know that the health tech revolution is coming, and they are paid to know these things.
Why is health tech about to go big?
Lets take the UK as a prime example of why health tech is about to boom. The UK consists of 62 million people and it has the largest Public Health Service in the World – the NHS. The NHS is a staggering institution. It employs 1.7 MILLION people, including 370,000 nurses and 18,500 ambulance staff. It launched in 1948, in a ravaged, post-war country which needed its country to give it something back in return for the (in this example, physical) sacrifices of war. Back then it cost £437 million, but today in 2013, its budget is £108 billion. In times of continuing economic strife, the cost of fixing people is an overbearing burden for the UK, and health tech can help fix that problem.
In essence, as Tim Change says, we need to move from healthcare to health.
How do we move from healthcare to health?
Health tech is the solution that the VCs have identified for three main reasons:
1) Health tech lets you measure your health, which is the key to early prognosis and health issue avoidance
2) Health Tech provides immediate feedback loops, which close diagnosis times and help initiate fast medical interventions
3) Health tech introduces gamification and social incentives to make people get fitter
in conjunction with the above, companies are lining up to welcome fitter and healthier people because they are lower risk, better workers, less likely to be off ill and generally more productive.
So lets look at how health technology can help us save money on our medical bills
Tip 1) iSP02 iPhone and iPad app gives accurate pulse readings, saving the need for expensive doctor fees, as well as your time and effort. Tracking your pule rate is one of the simplest yet best overall health markers.
Tip 2) Microfluidic chip is a piece of health tech which can quickly and accurately diagnose the flu bug. The flu often goes either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed due to the cost of testing, at this health tech saves you time and money on going to the doctors
Tip 3) Thermodock is a Star Trek esque medical kit app, which includes an accurate health thermometer. Tracking your temperature is an important way to quickly measure the severity of a fever, allowing you to decide whether medial intervention is necessary or not.
Tip 4) Get healthier by playing computer games. A test with re-mission game found that gaming is healthy, which means you now have no excuse not to get behind social fitness. Download a social fitness app like MyFitnessPal and challenge your friends to get healthier. The competition, if absolutely nothing else will do you good.
Tip 5) The Will Valkee LED earbuds can kill jetlag, saving you a fortune in lost productivity as well as a whole load of lost sleep.
Tip 6) Download the New England medical journal to get a cheap insight into medical conditions from a source you can trust
Tip 7) Download Medic Mobile, a new app from a Silicon Valley start-up. It aims to cheaply bring healthcare to rural communities by allowing them to easily and affordably communicate with a doctor when needed. This saves time and money in getting to hospital, whilst providing some much needed medical advice in times of need.
Tip 8) Treat Parkinson’s with video games. With over 1.5m suffers in the USA alone, Parkinson’s is a serious illness with no known cure. Doctors have found that the condition is aided by certain specially developed video games, providing a cheap and fun way to fight the illness.
Tip 9) The Origami paper sensor detects both Malaria and HIV for just $0.10
Tip 10) The Wii games console is a fun and healthy way to get fitter, bringing exercise to your living room. With a low price point, its cheaper and infinitely more engaging then a gym membership, providing plenty of health benefits for the whole family.
Tip 11) Swop cigarettes and cigars for electric cigarettes. They are cheaper because you can ‘smoke’ each one many times, and a lot healthier then their tar and nicotine filled ‘real’ counterparts
Tip 12) Invest in the sleeptracker elite watch, which measures your nightly sleep in order to help you get better quality sleep, equaling better performance at work and a chance to earn more money.
Tip 13) The Aetrex GPS shoes are an affordable and effective way to keep track of patients suffering from dementia.
Tip 14) Activity trackers help you to measure how healthy you are based on the number of steps you take. Starting at around £40, these pieces of heath tech are cheap way to measure your fitness progress to get healthier.
So there are some actionable ways that you can use health tech to quickly get a bit fitter. Once there, capitalise with schemes like Pru Health who reward healthy people with lower rates on life insurance. Also, look out for employee benefit schemes that reward you for going to the gym, as thats a great incentive to get and then stay, fit.