Virtual Assistants for health management

May 17, 2017

If we ask you to imagine the future of medicine, you'll probably think about DNA therapy, nanorobots, artificial organs and bionic prostheses. But probably you won't think about your own role in this future medicine. Meanwhile it will be not less important. Moreover, you'll become the general manager of your own health. And wearable technologies will help you. At first glance it looks strange. Why pay more attention to care of your health if you can go to super-hospital and they will repair your fully-broken body? But we have one big reason for you.

Because the main goal of the future medicine will be not to repair your body, but to prolong your life. And this mission is impossible without your active participation. Healthy life - is precise balance of all body systems and processes. And even if you are treated in super-hospital but then return home, smoke, eat want you want and forget to take prescribed medicines - you won't prolong your life.

Of course you can be skeptical about that. Even having long-life motivation and wearable gadgets people will never become so careful and responsible about their health. After all we already have fitness wristbands like Fitbit, health apps like Goopatient and Apple Health, but how many people are really using them? Yes, that's right. Even most conscious people won't think about health all the time, spend hours every day keeping health records, analyzing gadget measurements and symptoms, setting reminders to take medicines in time.

But the good news is that in future you'll have a personal virtual assistant, that will do all this stuff for you. Maybe Siri, Cortana or Alexa (when they become much more smart) will take this responsibility or these will be other virtual girls. But one thing is clear: virtual assistants will make a revolution in personal health management.

How it will work?

Her (2013)

So, imagine: you have a phone in your pocket, an earphone in your ear, fitness whistband on your hand and implanted sensors somewhere in your body. You hear Her voice:

- Hey, it's cold today. Take on your hat!
- It's time to take Imupret. One tablet. And then do inhalation like doctor recommended.
- Don't forget to drop in the drug store and buy nose spray
- Hey, you are sitting too long! Take a break, have a walk. You passed just eight hundred meters today!
- Your sugar level goes down during five days. You should see your doctor. Probably the new diet doesn't fit you
- According to Google there is dangerous flu level in our city. Be careful when approaching other people
- Time to sleep! Yesterday you went to bad too late and had a bad sleep.

Or you talk to Her:

- Hi, I have a stomach ache
- Ok, where it pains, in the middle or in the side?
- In the middle
- What have you eaten today?
- Roasted potato with chicken, milk, some strawberry
- Last year when you ate strawberry you also had stomach ache. Probably you have the allergy. Last year you took Smecta and it helped.

Or you take a photo of your dinner and ask:

- Count calories please.
- It's about one thousand calories. I recommend not to eat this pie, thus you won't exceed your daily calorie limit

It's important that the virtual assistant will not only prompt, but also motivate you. You'll treat VA like your friend that cares of you, so her words will motivate you better than own thoughts. And, unlike human health manager, she will be with you 24/7 without rest and vacation and will never quit.
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