Analysis of social & ethical impact of the Ingestible sensors based data analytics applications

Big Data is ready for a DEP dive, deep inside your body!


Ingestible sensors are tiny sensors that can be ingested by a patient along with a pill (it’s smaller than grain of a sand). The sensors goes inside of the and send the data stream about level of a drug content in the body. The data stream sent from inside a person’s body is received typically by a specific fitness device; which initiate data transfer by wireless network to central servers of the pharma company/hospital. From the central servers the data is analyzed & analytics report is sent to doctor & the patient and may alert relatives of the patient if data indicates that a person is below some essential drug levels in body. This is currently approved by FDA & is already in limited commercial use in Europe for compliance of anti-psychotic patients.

The applications of ingestible sensors has enormous potential which can not only revolutionize the way we know healthcare & medicine but it can also change the social life that we know.

While this clearly has an intended benefits for improving health; it raises questions about; who really owns such an ingestible sensors data of a patient? The traditional notion of patient-doctor privacy will be broken since now all of patients data will lie with pharma companies, carriers, central servers which may be outside any country’s jurisdiction. Some will argue “It’s my body so the data should also be mine, then how can all other entities like insurance companies, pharma companies, hospitals be allowed to run any analytics on “my” data?” The second is implication of analytics that can be done on such a data is that can be used to target customers by insurance companies with certain lifestyle or “imposing a healthy lifestyle” on them & track their compliance ; thereby creating more uneven field at large for society by raising premium for others who don’t follow that lifestyle. Is that form of a social blackmail? What would happen to free will in such cases?
It does raise a number of questions about ethics and privacy and just where we should draw the line? The most serious concern would be; if such a tiny device can be used to track level of drug inside body, it can also be used to track anything else including a person’s whole life without his or her knowledge! Are we looking at 1984-ish kind of nightmare where citizen’s freedom is long lost & someone is always watching? And what about data security risk? Till now we were only concerned about our name and social security or credit card numbers but information from inside your body is much more private , what it some hacker will ever leak it ? The whole world will know what diseases a person has, what medicines he has taken over the years to his sexual problems and even more intimate details which can be hugely embarrassing.

In fact the some would say, the risk is so great that they don’t feel comfortable with these kind of data sensors which are within body and so some would predict this will never take off.I would like to present an argument which should convince readers that ingestible sensor based data analytics is the next wave ready to take over our life since its benefit outweigh the risks by huge extent.

And while all above mentions concerns of ethics & privacy relations may be true, there also exists solutions to safeguard ethics & privacy which I would like to propose. These problems can be overcome & it’s possible to avoid misuse of such applications.

So what is this “Smart Pills”?

As described above ingestible sensors (also called as digital medicine or as Bio telemetry or Smart Pills) gives data from within the body. The ingestible sensor has a detection rate of 97.3% of ingestions, with 100% accuracy of pill identification. As described by the leading manufacturer Proteus, it works something like this” The healthcare professional will prescribe sensor based pills, it will have a tiny ingestible sensors with the size of grain of sand that will send the signal to the patch after it reaches the stomach (from inside your body). Patients & healthcare teams can see when a medication is being taken with the help of this pill. This will also give insights into impact of drug on your steps, rest, heart rate, blood pressure etc. Along with patient, healthcare professional also gain insight into these patterns based on which he can determine the best course of treatment for patients. It can also set medication reminder to help manage drug content inside the body & monitor compliance of the patients. The analytics of data helps healthcare professionals to drill down into individual patient data and allocate resources to those who need most & also help customize the treatment for each individual patient. ” [1]

Even without going into details of how exactly the sensors operates anyone can understand the above technology. May be because we have been seeing similar things in James Bond movies for a long ..long time, so it hardly comes as any surprise. It is as simple as having a tiny smartphone inside your body. Here is how exactly the smart pill works as explained in one of the patent papers & paraphrased here from Sarah’s article “Each pill contains a one-square-millimeter sensor that is coated in two digestible metals: copper and magnesium. These metals are not dangerous to consume because they currently exist in multi-vitamin supplements, as well as naturally in our diets. Upon swallowing, the sensor is activated by electrolytes within the body.” [2]

Needless to say any data, that is coming from inside the body is much more accurate than what you can get from any other external sources. It also gives the information which otherwise may never be available to doctors without extensive lab testing. So it can be said beyond any doubt that it will open a window which never existed before. There are many variations of this technology and what is mentioned above is just one which is currently being in use in Europe & approved by FDA. [1]. There are many others like colon camera, swallow-able tiny recorders and other numerous spiffs of this technology that is currently under trial & investigations. This article however will not delve further into smart pill technologies but impact of its data analytics applications on our social life & issues of ethics & privacy related to them.

“How DEP is your Data?”

The smart pills which emits data from inside our body reminds me of LED (Light Emitting Diodes) [5] which works on emitting lights whenever electrons combine with holes. Smart Pills works pretty much same, emitting data whenever it combines with chemicals inside our body, hence may be called as Data Emitting Pills (DEP). The smart pills are of course useless unless some analytics is performed on them and so “DEP Analytics” is what makes it interesting. Ingestible sensors based such analytics or “DEP Analytics” can cause a paradigm shift in Big Data applications. We are used to thinking of Big data Analytics applications as macro data corpuses , well this is one place where big data is going micro , deep inside our body & DEP Analytics will be much bigger than anything that we have known before.

DEP Analytics will analyze the data stream from the smart pills. The data as sent by the each smart pill will be a torrent of data containing basically an unstructured data format. The data will be first received by a patch or a device like a fit-bit or some other similar accessory. This will then be transferred to central servers for analysis & analytics results will be pushed down to all stakeholders like patient and doctors for immediate operational analytical results. [1] The data however will remain stored on the servers and will be analyzed for a long term trends by hospitals, researchers to improve the medicines & treatment methods, it can also be analyzed by insurance companies to find patterns into healthcare cost & drug compliance.

For a single patient there can be hundreds of data points (like drug level, heart rate, BP etc.) emitted each day by a smart pill and for thousands(if not millions) of patients such data points will be received every second. So when we are talking of DEP Analytics we are looking at billions of rows which are used for operational analytics everyday & trillions of rows for an historical data analysis. This will not only be disruptive technology in healthcare industry but also be epic to BIG data technology itself. From big data we would soon shift our focus to deep data , about how deep we want to conduct our analytics , either limit it outside the body or to stomach or to blood or go even deeper to hormones levels.

One Pill to Cure them All…….

While discussing the DEP Analytics, the most amusing thing is how few people in general public are aware of it. It has already been approved by FDA & CE in USA & Europe. [1]. It’s already in limited commercial use in Europe and people are using it, yet many consider is something that is a science fiction stuff & we will worry about it once it comes. The truth is future is now but are we ready for it?

The obvious use of DEP Analytics is to help monitor health of the patients. The technology is currently for patients of anti-psychotic and anti-depressants medications. This is the one group of patients where compliance to regular doses is a big issue & this comes as a relief both to family members & doctors. This can of course be extended to other patients who are on some regular critical medications like insulin & need daily doses. It can also be used to alert the family members in case of stroke or other such health emergency for elderly patients. This intended use of DEP Analytics is in itself enough to have a massive impact. [6] [2]

Another obvious case is to customize a drug content to a patient. Overdose or side effects of the pills has been a bane to healthcare since its creation. Many diseases can be cured only if a pill can be custom manufactured based on unique characteristics of the person’s body & DNA profiles. While much work is underway on this, it will still need something like a DEP Analytics to track its effectiveness & improvise. [7]
There are various other applications of such DEP Analytics and it need not be limited to healthcare or patients.

The first such application of DEP Analytics that comes to mind is in sports. Athletes are always under pressure to perform & stay fit and such an analytics can help monitor their fitness level & pre-empt any issues with fitness which players themselves may not be aware of. Based on the fitness data of DEP Analytics of each players and combining that with the past successful performances of other athletes, it will also help the coach field the “most likely successful” players on any given day thereby to maximize the competitive advantage in the game.

Another major application of DEP Analytics outside of healthcare will be for health insurance companies. Whenever a person is seeking a treatment , insurance company may insists on customers to take smart pills so that they can monitor compliance level & if they are regularly taking the doses or not as prescribed by the physician. The insurance company may decide not to pay for medical bills if it observes that a particular patient has skipped many times on his or her doses. This can be great competitive advantage to insurance companies to remove both fraud in health insurance as well as to reduce any cost leakage because of negligence of patients.

Another use of DEP Analytics can be devised by clustering analytics of its historical data collected. It can collect various important body parameters like heart rate, BP etc. but also some other possible parameters like stress hormone level and coupled further with classifications methods can predict the cost of giving insurance to a customer. It may even ask that any new customer takes a smart pill before buying insurance policy which will allow company to run a quick pre-screening diagnostics on customer body and thereby help calculate the cost of premium. [9]. This can be further expanded by insurance companies expecting customer to regularly take such ingestible sensors so that to update their health status to them. It means on daily basis your doctor, insurance company & yourself get something like a daily “Health Score”(like Credit Score) giving summary of how well you are doing based on your key body parameters. This can be a shot in the arm for insurance companies to pre-empt the diseases & cure them before they occur or require serious hospitalization. This can be beneficial both to patients to reduce unnecessary suffering & will also help reduce cost to overall healthcare system which is the biggest bucket in any Federal or State budget and also always the most politically contentious issue.

There can also be specific use cases of such DEP Analytics which will be precious at the time of any epidemics. For example in the case any Flu epidemic or EBOLA having a ingestible sensors based data will help prevent spread of epidemics to larger areas by constantly monitoring the patients’ health by doctors worldwide & thereby ability to treat patients in remote parts of the world who don’t have access to doctors. Any person who is treated with an epidemic can also be tracked about his movements so that governments can effectively contain spread of disease over random scale free networks. It will not only reduce massive cost for healthcare system but greatly improve public confidence into the healthcare systems. Any person who may have suspected symptoms can easily take a smart pill and upload his data to CDC so that they can quickly & easily diagnose people (instead of physically going to doctor which people anyway tend to avoid ) & help prevent spread of epidemics. In fact this can be so effective that the word epidemics may itself be reduced to dictionary in near future.

Over a period of time a whole ecosystem may be built which is based on the DEP Analytics data. It’s an evolutionary trait in humans (and all animals) that we always seek out healthiest of life partners to mate. Its part of basic instinct & one of the reasons why natural selection results into more evolved (better) species with each successive generation. One should not be surprised if someone makes some Ok-cupid or Tinder app based on DEP Analytics health data file where people seek companions who are of their compatible fitness levels. This will go deeper than just weight & height (which was people look at current dating) but may be something more specific data points like sex hormones levels, cholesterol levels , stress hormone levels (all updated daily by DEP Analytics). People always have an intense desire to stay healthy but also to show others that they are healthy (again an evolutionary trait) and it should not come as surprise if this becomes a key status update in future dating apps.

There are other social applications possible of DEP Analytics systems. Road accidents related fatalities are 4th most common cause of death in USA. [8].Throughout the world road accidents always remain one of the top ten causes of death and the most preventable amongst all. The root cause of majority of road accidents are either drunk driving or sleep deprivation of drivers or a driving under stress. Smart pills can monitor the levels of hormones or alcohol content in the body & DEP Analytics can thereby alter the driver and/or passengers about the possible risks. It can also be useful for law enforcement authorities for drivers who have been found of drunk driving earlier & so having a smart pills monitoring their alcohol levels & driving behavior can be monitored. This can help courts decide whether to reinstate their driving license or suspend it.

Another social application of DEP Analytics can be to prevent the cases of rape & sexual assaults. The statistics shows that around half of all rape cases involves alcohol and in many cases some other drugs. [3].Constantly monitoring the alcohol content of previous offenders or those accused of may help prevents the further cases. It can also be useful to prevent the cases of underage drinking or drugs in school by kids; whereby parents can monitor drug/alcohol levels of their kids and try to prevent possible scenarios of drug addiction or alcohol addiction. It may be more useful in case of keeping child molesters at bay who are under restraining orders, if they can be constantly monitored.
DPP Analytics can also become one of the pre-requisite for some jobs whereby employers will expect their employees to report their fitness level on real-time analytics basis to them. For some risky job profiles like airline pilot or spaceship crew or military NAVY seals all of whom have a critical responsibilities, can improve their work with the help of DEP Analytics so that only those crew who are fit Is given the task & more importantly recalibrate the team in real time within the operational tasks; for example if it were to indicate that in the middle of the flight a pilot shows high stress hormone level , then another pilot can be asked to take over ; thereby lowering the risk for passengers.
While the applications are limitless as said earlier, some will still see this technology gone too far & will be more worried by it than being optimistic about its possibilities. However after discussing workarounds to issues related to this technology, it may become clear that risk-reward ratio in this case is skewed in favor of reward.

Just coz my toaster can talk to my TV , doesn’t mean it should !

This is the most common complaint related to applications based on DEP Analytics. Detractors will say just because we have technology to do something doesn’t mean we should do it,“ we can be just as good without it… We don’t want technology to go too far where we become prisoner of data.” If the last refuge of privacy, our body can also become public, then what will that not reduce us to ghost in the shell? I will try to list some the concerns below in more detail & then try to suggest how we can still prevail them.
The first concern will be about marginalizing of the poor or unhealthy people from the system whereby DEP Analytics will raise cost of healthcare for those who are not fit specially by insurance companies. [10] Since some health conditions are related to affordability (like organic food or gym membership) it will be unfair to poor. Other concern can be related to health conditions which are more prevalent in some ethnic /racial groups than others. Would it then result to some systemic bias? All these concerns may be unfounded as it is almost mostly addressed in Affordable care act whereby pre-existing conditions are not a factor. The universal healthcare can be tweaked to allow equitable premiums.

There is another way to look at it which is, the people who have choice to be healthy, follow healthy lifestyle like fresh food, moderate drinking, regular exercise do actually cost less to healthcare in long run & hence do deserve a lower premium. It is hard to call it unethical & on the contrary some would argue that any lifestyle diseases (like diabetes or high cholesterol) which are preventable but if people chose not to do it, then others should be asked to subsidies them. Hence given the choice most people would then chose to part of such a system rather than opt out of it.

The insurance premium even as of today & always been are based on our approximate health score & predicting a person’s cost to system just as interest rates are based on our credit scores; the only difference being unlike credit score there is no mechanism to arrive at an accurate, perfect health score; since it’s possible to track all financial transactions but not all our health transactions on regular basis.

The next concern which is most commonly heard now is about data privacy, all the analytics currently done by companies makes it easy for your entire life to be an open book about where you live, where you eat, what you do, where you shop, what you like to shop, how much you spend and what movies one like to watch and why. A customer profile is the biggest tool in marketing and if that’s already in the scary proportions; detractors would say that the DEP Analytics will only make it worse. Next customer profile based on DEP Analytics will include what you eat , when & how much you sleep , when & how much your exercise, , what is suitable for your diet based on your health file , how are your daily hormone levels fluctuating (suggest a movie when based on your mood?) and much more. This could make many worried.

The two other concerns related to it will be government spying on citizens infringing their civil liberties and data ownership. The two may seem disconnected but they are closely linked as they have a causal relationship. Only because the data ownership cannot be established in absolute terms it leaves the door open for government/companies to use the same data to invade the privacy of the people.

My Body ..Your data? Whose data is it anyway?

The commonly asked question is “who owns the data?” [10]. It will be argued that since it’s my body, its my data & my choice. However in case of DEP Analytics an individual health history is scattered over the servers of doctors , insurance companies , pharma companies , health provide hospital network and even analytics companies which will analyze that data. Ironically the only entity which may not actually get a full data is the person himself. It is theoretically possible that based on the DEP Analytics , the doctor or insurance companies may discover something in patients body which patient himself is not aware of & may not be made aware of. However the questions of data ownership goes beyond the complex structure of data governance mentioned about. There is an implicit & intuitive sense of ownership that we attach to our body and so very likely will also be attached to DEP data. One may ask “How can any company run analytics on my data without my permission? How can they take any decision like reduce /increase my premium, deny or accept me or do anything based on my data? Where is my choice if I am affected by it? What if my data is leaked by hackers who will pay for my loss of self-esteem? Who can guarantee safety & security of my data?”

I will try to answer this with some possible solutions. Howsoever bitter it may seem but that sense of data ownership is unfortunately a misconceived concept. The best analogy can be drawn to the money. If a person deposits hard earned money to the bank or some IRA account then who owns that money? We all know money doesn’t just sit in the bank nor in pension funds. It can be said that just as with personal data, the full personal ownership of the money must always lie with an individual and every person must get a choice about what bank will do with that money. The question is, is our money really more secure in the banks than our data in the corporate servers?

Just as we ask who owns my data we should ask who owns my money? The truth is when bank play with is subject to the market risk, the bank doesn’t really ask you before it invest the depositor’s money. The bank would normally give it for some loans or other investment instruments like insurance, complex derivatives or mutual funds and equity markets & most likely combination of all of it. While all this is done, it’s being done to maximize the profit of the bank and not to keep our money secure. It’s always possible that a bank can make a bad investment decision and it will go under thereby all depositors will lose their savings. In fact it’s also possible that it will trigger the massive recession or even depression as it happened in 1930s great depression when one single bank drowned the whole US economy. [12] (Smart readers will say that deposits upto 250k$ are guaranteed by Federal govt.; more on which later but it must be noted that this was not the case earlier). In a nutshell this logic that I own my money and so I must have sole right to decide what investment risk a bank will do with it; does not work in banking industry and similarly it can be case in analytics industry where user may not get right to choose over what companies will do with his data . It can be argued that if money can used to increase economy of the country by investing then why prevent it? Similarly if DEP Analytics can improve health of millions by making better medicines then why stop it? Secondly this has been going on even today & for ages, the only difference is of scale. However banking industry does offer individual customer protection to certain extent in case of risk of default which is different from having the ownership and that is what may be possible to expand to data analytics sector as well.

.It’s being a well-established principle that money or larger economy is far too important to be left to profit driven private players. And hence we have Federal Reserve, which monitors what bank do with money and how much risk they can take with money by controlling liquidity with key drivers like CAR (Capital Adequacy Ratio.) While Federal reserve may had been first , over the years we established many such agencies because society understood that environment is too important to be left to industries and so we got EPA ; we realized public health is too important to be at hands of food & pharma companies and so we got FDA ; I would like to think that sooner or later we would similarly realize that data & its analytics of citizens is far too important to be at hands of corporate players with no regulations and would establish a similar agency for data governance may be called as DGA(Data Governance Agency).

Just as Federal Reserve has a mandate to maintain overall health of economy and protect individual citizens from any preventable risk by banks by formulating polices. a DGA (Data Governance Agency) can have a mandate to govern use of data across the industries to protect its misuse, prevent privacy, security, monitor anonymity, prohibit any analytics than can be racially discriminatory and most importantly provide a “data insurance “to all so that in the event of default just as bank customers get a Federally backed protection upto $250K, the data customers will be compensated in case they suffer a violation of set data Insurance policy. Having such a mandated data insurance will also force companies to be more stringent & careful about their data as they would be required to foot the bill in case of any breach. Federal reserve does not guarantee you ownership of your money neither gives you freedom to choose the risk directly, but it says that it will work towards larger interests of society by its monetary policy, which will benefit all in the long run & do as much as possible to prevent economy from any market crash or recession (it was market crash that created Fed Reserve) [11]. Similarly a DGA may not be able to solve the question of data ownership but it can make regulations to reduce the risk associated with data analytics & ensure that it’s being used in a manner that keeps long terms interests of larger society at heart. The agency can be headed by Data Governor and just like Fed Reserve governor is responsible via oversight (ideally) be free from political & corporate influence.

DGA may take a political will to be enacted and until then people will demand full transparency of what happens inside big data analytics chambers of secrets. Unfortunately everything that companies to do in the name of analytics is kept secret. What marketing optimization they make, what strategies they develop based on data analytics and even how the data analytics is done is kept secret and it is unlikely to change even in case of DEP analytics however since it’s the data which concerns personal body data most scared to all , the demand for analytics transparency will be greater than ever . The secrecy is justified in the case of Analytics in the name of competition and trade secrets of the companies which are valid points. How can we then ever get any transparency?
The solution may not be as hard as it seems. As proposed in the paper by Kelley a “Nutrition Label” for Privacy may be a good option for companies to come forward with. [13]. It will show what private information is used by companies /sites & how for analytics. Many companies would resist it but that should come as surprise. In fact if we look at history of nutrition labels (showing fat, sugar contents) on food items then it itself had a rough ride, junk food companies always opposed it but companies trying to promote “healthy food” started doing it and it cached on. Companies who wants to promote themselves as ethical (and most do), can be better off with such “Privacy Nutrition Labels” than hiding it. Rather any company who start it, can get a first movers advantage & win customer trust.[13]

Privacy … is that little birdie I seen yesterday?

However having any agency will not be enough to quell the fears as what if government itself is the one who is running all this analytics to target the citizens ? How can we find how much water fish is drinking in the pond? What if it uses DEP Analytics to track citizens without them knowing , limit civil liberties of those who it suspects if wrongdoing before they do it? How can we protect our civil liberties from the government itself? Some will say “The things are getting worse, now government listen to our phones, track our chats and DEP analytics will only make it worse, it will invade our bodies? What about individual freedom to not be part of it? Will it ever be possible to opt out of such Analytics? We are losing our liberties day by day and DEP technologies will only make it worse?”
While these are valid questions, however cynical it may seem but are things really getting worse in terms of privacy or it seems that they are getting worse? This may have to do more with our fear of secret society than reality. We as a society are inherently opposed to word secrecy as best put by JFK.

The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it.
It must be noted that he was attacking secrecy of governments itself. Irony is as noted in biography of J Edger Hoover, then FBI Director, has a secret file on JFK which he used to blackmail him. In fact J. Edger has a secret file, full of chats, letters, embarrassing private details on all presidents & their families starting with President Coolidge to Nixon. If President of the free world can’t guarantee his own privacy, what about ordinary citizens? The point is, governments always had the power to spy on its citizens & it always used them.[4] [14]


On the contrary, the risk another Julian and Snowden is going to make more transparent as a society not less in some sort of Social Darwinism manner. [4]. We of course may never live in utopia of no government intervention in private life and absolute liberty.

“Ghost in the Shell” [15]

The final argument against DEP Analytics would be what will it do to free will? Are we going to live a life based on the predictions made by some machines?

For example by analyzing all players if DEP Analytics, says that a person has only 50% fitness level to compete in today’s football match and hence is dropped by the coach, what emotional impact it will have on person? Isn’t it possible that analytics itself may be wrong or misleading (for example player still has 50% i.e. equal chance to success) but because of knowing it has less chance, will it actually reduce players performance ? Secondly how ethical is it to rely on such data? The analytics is based on past data not future possibilities. A pregnant woman [Kerry Walsh] or cancer survivor [Miller] won Olympics athletics medal against all odds & she is not only example to beat the odds. Will we ever hear such stories again?

Do emotional impact of being told you are not fit will actually make a person unfit? Will DEP Analytics make humans feel like just a ghost trapped inside the shell of the body? Where people look at their bodies not as assets but a liability? Would we end up in a world where mind does not control body but feels trapped inside it? [15]

Unfortunately there is no definite answer to it. We as humans are driven not by our capabilities but by our desires. What DEP Analytics will show is our capabilities but nor our potential passion to overcome it & so it can be said that we would be better off without knowing some capabilities at all. We are still struggling to understand the psychological impact of social media platforms like Facebook, twitter, where many studies suggest that it makes those who it excessively narcissist or depressed (or both). [16][17].There are also many cases reported of people committing suicide because of being rejected/bullied/shamed on social media platform. All these things can become worse in the case of DEP Analytics.

If DEP Analytics data can find its way on the social media platform, the school/collage kids can be shamed about their hormone levels (especially sex hormones levels which is extremely private & sensitive for most teenagers) or other aspects like history of their anti-psychotics treatment, therapy conversations, any growth related issues. Today when people are verbally abused just by their looks, they have enormous emotional impact, the impact that it can have on impressionable minds of school/college kids of their DEP data going public, will be hard to imagine. However let’s not forget that there are good impact of social media as well which far outweighs these issues.

As often said, unfortunately ever since man (or ape?) created first technology (may be a rock hammer or fire), its always been used as a double edged sword. Technology is that key, which can open gates to heaven but same key can also open gates to hell as well. As a science, while we do understand a lot of physical body we understand little about emotional impact of technology but more insights in this area can be enlightening. However it must be noted that while every single tool & technology has a potential of world destruction, it never really happened despite all the doomsday prediction. As Abraham Lincoln said “Somehow better angels always prevails”, we always had these fears but lived long to tell a tale of it. And hopefully we as a society has got better in dealing with such disruptive technologies.

So based on historical analytics of our dealing with earlier disruptive technologies , it can be said that in the long run we as a society only benefited from them; making our lives better, safer , easier & more prosperous. And so one can predict that DEP Analytics too will have the success rate (All pun intended!!) as other disruptive technologies like industrialization, internet and social media.


While the concerns related to DEP Analytics apps may be real, I am confident that it shall be overcome based on above arguments. If someone were to ask me single reason for its possible success then I would point to our most basic instinct of fear of pain & innermost desire to live life free of it (which is limited not just to humans but an evolutionary trait in all organisms). Just as unborn eggs of tadpoles know how to protect itself from predators, because of its instincts to live & fear, we will always have instinct to embrace any technology that makes our life healthier, longer & of reduced fear of suffering from diseases. DEP Analytics offers all of it & so it will find its way to our lives slowly but surely.

Anyone opposing DEP Analytics methods will find themselves isolated specially in cases like epidemics or cancer research where it can save thousands of lives. It’s also hard to argue against a method that reduces healthcare cost to society at large. And so is to argue against it if it can prevent diseases before they occur mush more easily & effectively than an annual body scan. These are just few of applications listed above & so there will be push towards optimizing its use despite all the concerns.

The concerns related to DEP Analytics are serious but they are not different from any other technology and a regulatory framework can easily address them. Perhaps we as a society normally create regulation only when pushed to the wall & DEP Analytics may be that moment when we will finally do it since it concerns what we consider as scared sanctorum, the only body that we have got!

Penicillin or antibiotics as general arguably remains the single biggest invention of 20th century in healthcare (not counting DNA which was a discovery) single handedly wiping out many fatal diseases from earth & improving life span as invention of microscope caused paradigm shift in healthcare in 19th century. [18] Even though we just got started, DEP Analytics may become one of the key turning point in healthcare which has potential to have a long lasting impact on healthcare of 21st century.


13. A “Nutrition Label” for Privacy Patrick Gage Kelley,* Joanna Bresee,* Lorrie Faith Cranor,* Robert W. Reeder**



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