Sharable by Design
Data needs to be shared but in the right ways. A human-centric model regards the original data owners, not as patients, lab trial subjects or sources of pharmaceutical revenue, but as individuals who are, for the most part, well and want to become more so.
Health insurance companies are moving in this direction. Some have made it easier for customers to share relevant wellness information, such as exercise data, and incentivize this practice through rebates or discounts. Health care providers are also expanding their focus from sickness to health. In 2020, for instance, the non-profit integrated health system Adventist Health purchased Blue Zones, a pioneer in taking a systematic and environmental approach to improving the health of cities and communities.
The NTT envisioned health and wellbeing ecosystem model includes food and nutrition, fitness and wellness, mindfulness and stress reduction, and social support. Like Blue Zones projects that have seen measurable improvements in healthy lifestyles and corresponding decreases in healthcare costs, this model aims to leverage data in mutually acceptable ways to achieve common goals.
Another example is Jibo, a “social robot” that uses natural language processing to assist patients with medical care at home and students in educational environments, all the while maintaining data privacy as a core attribute. In another application, Jibo could interact proactively with employees to influence health in the workplace.