The Digital You
By Dr. Lou Capponi
Wherever you go, there you are. Forever. In today’s digital world nearly everything done on a computer or smartphone can be recorded. Many would be surprised by just how much recording goes on, who has access to it, and how they benefit from it. When you give apps permission to use your location, your whereabouts are stored. Use a discount card at the grocery store, what you eat is stored. Search the internet, what you may care about is stored. Upload Instagram photos, what you drink is stored. The businesses you frequent, speed you drive, vacations and even the number of steps you take, are all part of your digital footprint. We create digital footprints form medical data too, and these can be quite large. Discussions with your doctor, medications you take, the health of your teeth from dental x-rays, your height, weight, diet, and even the levels of electrolytes in your blood. All of that, and more is recorded. The difference with health data is that special permission is needed to share data attached to our identity. Still, the information from our digital footprints can be shared in the form of digital shoes, if you will.
Digital footprints and digital shoes are valuable. Map apps help you arrive at destinations safely and on time. Advertisers show you products based on past purchases, and healthcare providers use the data to take better care of you. All these are positive impacts and all of the data that makes it happen, comes from you. Your data allows for products and services to be created that never existed before. But, are you getting the full benefits from your data? Sure, collective information about visits to restaurants can show you know when it’s less busy and may even help you support local businesses that are struggling. But what about that restaurant that is thriving. Do you get a menu with lower prices for coming in on an off hour? We can extend this question to the value of your healthcare footprints and shoes. Does your data empower you to take control of your health? Are you getting discounts when your data is used or are others benefiting from your healthcare data more than you are? In 2017, the big data marketplace was reported by STATA at $35 Billion U.S. Dollars and is estimated to grow to $70 Billion in 2022. Similarly the top two insurance companies posted combined profits north of $25 Billion in 2021. Some of these profits come from using your data to lower their costs. But have your premiums gone down?
Digital healthcare and insurance companies looking to create new healthcare products and reduce costs need your data more than ever. And, to do this, they need more than just your medical data. Healthcare outcomes have a lot to do with non-medical factors such as exercise, sleep, work, diet, and more. HealthPhi members can combine both their medical and non-medical data in one place, making their digital footprints even more valuable. HealthPhi was developed so you can take charge of your digital footprints and shoes by storing all your digital health information on one secure platform. Here you have full access to your data, can review it anytime you want, and can share it with whomever you choose. What’s more, you can decide if you want to share it for altruistic means, for profit, or for both. HealthPhi Members who shared their data not only benefit from the collective impact of improved healthcare products, but also receive financial benefits. This is a game changer. It’s where the digital you decides who benefits.