Junkfood Science: Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. :)

August 27, 2007

Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. :)

One reader wrote in with a terrific comment, explaining why he doesn’t use his real name on those grocery store discount cards. He said he's just waiting for the insurance folks to figure out a way to access our food purchase records to make sure we’re “eating healthy.”

“I’m sure co-pays, deductibles and premiums will be adjusted accordingly. And most people will think it’s okay, as long as its ‘for the children,’” he wrote.

He was a lot closer to reality than he realized....

The News & Observer recently reported on a new tracking system that the government, drug and insurance industries are sure to pee their pants over:

Wireless tracking system would monitor patients

Confidant Inc. of Durham has partnered with packaging company MeadWestvac to a develop a wireless tracking system that can monitor when patients take their medications. The partnership, which will target drug and health-care companies, hopes to start selling next year.... “If we can also capture information about patients' prescription adherence, we'll have an even fuller set of data for health-care providers to deliver quality care," said Thomas E. Wall, vice president of business development and marketing. Patients who deviate from their medication treatment programs risk ....

MeadWestvaco Health & Beauty Packaging will craft electronically equipped packages for drugs and medical-devices that transmit data within those systems. Care providers, for example, will be able to monitor the blood-sugar level and insulin intake of a diabetes patient, Wall said. Unlike traditional pill bottles, packages would have to be designed with the capability to count off specific units of drugs as they are dispensed.

The system begins with a mobile phone that is programmed to capture data from home medical devices or prescription drug packages. It uses Bluetooth short-range wireless technology to transfer the data. The phone then automatically transmits the information to a server where it is cross-checked with patients' medical histories and treatment programs....

[Wall] said the system would also work as a behavior modifier, detecting when patients lapse on their prescribed regimens and issuing reminders.

[If you’re puzzled as to why health insurers are so interested in making us take our medicines, stay tuned.]

Thanks so much PB! :-)

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