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Ford Motors has been working on some interesting technologies that the company is calling “mobile healthcare apps” for cars. These in-car health and wellness connectivity services and technologies are pretty interesting and have a lot of implication for how a PHR might be used in the future.

Since Bluetooth in the vehicle is now basically standard, the new things that Ford is introducing use that and some fun technologies and software to do a variety of health monitoring and other tasks. With Ford’s “infotainment” system on the dashboard, these can do basically what any smart phone can do. Couple this with cutting-edge in-vehicle tech and you have some great combos available.

For instance, Ford is working on a seat that monitors the driver’s blood pressure, heart rate, etc. and can tell if they are stressed or even possibly having a heart attack or other problem. More than that, though, they can prompt drivers with questions for, say, diabetics or others with chronic problems and record their responses into a PHR or even upload it to an online databank. These questions and answers are by voice, making them safe to do while driving.

Other things that Ford is working on include glucose monitoring and tracking using a watch or other worn device that synchs with the dashboard and can warn drivers if their blood sugar is dropping before physical indications like dizziness set in, a real safety boon.

The apps aren’t all geared just towards the driver, though. Children or passengers could also be included in this paradigm. Special car seats for diabetic children, for instance, might be used to accomplish the same tasks, interrupting radio or other speaker use to inform the parent of any impending problems.

All of these could synch with an online or Internet-based personal health record (like MedeFile) and allow doctors or other authorized people (like your older children, who might worry about you) to have access to some or all of these reports.

Although none of these are ready for market yet, Ford thinks they could have some of them appearing as early as next year. In the not too distant future, we could all be having our health monitored in real time every time we jump in the car to go to the store or make an appointment.

  • By Kevin Hauser Submitted on June 28th, 2011

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