Creepy robots, smart toilets, and the rise of digital therapeutics
Last week Amazon announced a flurry of innovations, including a super cute robot on wheels named Astro. Internet commentators cited privacy concerns about this Alexa on wheels that can spy on kids, recognise faces, deliver a beer, and report it all back to Amazon HQ. Astro is supposed to learn over time, so it has to track the humans around it and learn about its environment. Creepy, cute, or your future new best friend?
In Alexa news, Alexa Together was launched, which is a subscription service that allows carers to help and remotely monitor aging family members in their homes. The service sends alerts if users haven’t used Alexa for a certain amount of time, as well as setting medication reminders and managing shopping lists.
Moving swiftly on to the news from down below…
In the 1980s, Public Enemy urged people to “Fight the Power.” Now rapper Chuck D and hip-hop artist Pete Colon are encouraging Black and Latino communities in the US to "check your behind" and get screened for colon cancer.
They could have teamed up with this team at Duke University who are working on a smart toilet to diagnose illness and health concerns each time you spend a penny. The question is whether people will trade their privacy for the chance to find out exactly what is in their waste.
Some of the other interesting stories from the last few weeks
Digital therapeutics (DTx) is considered a “new category of medicine”. Will we be prescribed smartphone apps and digital health technologies? It’s a definite yes.
A warning from the FTC about how health apps deal with users’ personal data.
Your iPhone could be the one diagnosing you with a mental illness.
How international experts are leveraging technology to gain fresh insight into the patient experience. This discusses the shift to consumer-centred systems, which enable patients to interact with health professionals and get involved in their own care, for greater engagement, improved outcomes and increased patient satisfaction.
The UK’s first National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy launched, to help the UK strengthen its position as a global science superpower and seize the potential of modern technology to solve global challenges such as climate change and public health.
That’s it for now. See you in November!