Tired of managing your own health choices? Soon you’ll be able to let Comcast do it for you. If that sounds strange to you, don’t worry, it’s not the first company to offer this type of service and hardware. Apple has been testing health-tracking through its Apple Watch, Google is targeting senior living facilities with its Nest and Google Home products, and Amazon has been working on its own secretive initiatives.
The idea is pretty simple. Comcast will offer a device that monitors and assists senior citizens or disabled persons by determining when it is time for a health checkup – or in some cases – an emergency room visit. The device is not intended to do things like Alexa or Siri do with ordering products, providing search capabilities, or assistance with scheduling daily tasks. Its sole purpose, at a very basic level, is to monitor your activity patterns, detect falls, and call for medical help if it determines you need it.
Comcast already has internet and television equipment in homes and facilities across the country, so this is a logical move. The company will simply provide this new health service as an add-on. While it may seem incredibly invasive to some, many people will be eager to utilize this service while being ignorant to the security and privacy risks involved.
The biggest issue that should be considered with this Comcast service (and others like it) is whether these large tech companies should be trusted with your sensitive health information. Will there be an impact on your health premiums or insurance options as a result of what they learn about you? Anyone using the service is putting an awful lot of faith in a telecommunications conglomerate that has a terrible track record with protecting your private information and providing reliable customer service. With the negativity surrounding Google, Apple, and Amazon, it is not likely Comcast will have an easy time gaining people’s trust with arguably their most sensitive information – healthcare.