In-car health monitoring: a Quantum of Dismay

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]The simple pleasure of a drive, with the cheerful sound of a quiet engine purring and the pleasures of early Spring, are rapidly becoming as obsolete as no cell phone zones. Eye realized it this Sunday whilst driving in Big Blue (left, Cadillac,1955) with Waldo Lydecker to a scenic overlook on the New Jersey Palisades, where other like-minded vintage Cadillac owners unusually take pleasure in parking, eyeballing paint, chrome and upholstery, telling Cadillac tales and generally not doing very much for a few Sunday hours. But it was the drive to and from the garage that gave one pause. Blue must share the road [grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]with fellow vehicles of all sorts, piloted by–to be kind–distracted drivers minding their GPS, smartphones and MP3 players. Now Blue, being a mature lady, has rather a leisurely pace in gliding her 4,500 lbs both forward and to a stop, so she will mind you if you mind her with a little more room and consideration than a nippy Mercedes hussy coupe.

Thus yesterday’s article from the Telegraph (UK) adds to the Quantum of Dismay. The Gimlet Eye has already turned a very dim eye on the phenomenon of the Automotive Dashboard as mHealthy Monitor. Ford’s SYNC apps alerting you to pollen, pollution and your chances of having an asthma attack at the wheel–useful when used before travel, but blinking and beeping at 70 mph in four-lane traffic? A driver’s seat for hypochondriacs that measures blood pressure, pulse, stress and…blood glucose? (don’t ask)…may work well in the lab, but any New York, Washington, LA or London Metropolitan Area Rush Hour will produce a sound arrangement straight from the Raymond Scott book. A BMW steering wheel that measures perspiration? Ah, the Eye thought that driving your Beemer was supposed to make you glow with excitement. Is it TMBD (too much busy dashboard)? Is it TMI (information), especially if the signs are recorded? Would you then would be ‘asked’ to ‘volunteer’ said information to your insurance company and state DOT due to medical causes? Privacy concerns abound. Cars that can monitor your health–are in-car health monitors the way of the future or a step too far? (Telegraph)

Previously in TTA: Eye’s earlier dismay in More cars that will monitor your BP…and brain wavesFord SYNCs up with Allergy Alert; Editor Donna not much more pleased in Ford’s ‘car that cares’ visits CES, Syncs up HealthrageouslyYour car as mHealth platform.

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  1. Great example of just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should. Car designers should stick to making their cars better and safer and leave healthcare to those who know that area. The unintended consequences of health monitoring cars need to be understood.