Every day morning at 6.00, when I steal time for a quick walk, I see a healthy elderly gentleman Mr. Robinson at 75 years of age, with his dog waves at me, "Hi Mano, How are you." I smile and respond back to him saying "I am doing very well, thank you, sir." It is our daily routine. And I keep saying to myself, even if I am half as healthy as Mr. Robinson at his age, I would be very grateful.
More recently, Mr. Robinson, with his dog and a gadget around his neck, sitting on a pavement on the end of our street, gazes at me saying, "Hi, When did you move in." I smile and respond "That was five years ago." And he is very puzzled to hear that. As I walk past him, the energetic look on his face was gone and replaced with confusion and sorrow. I came to know that he has a visitor that Americans fear. "Alzheimer Disease." He is not allowed to go beyond the end of our street. The gadget around his neck is a tracking device so that he does not get lost in the wilderness of our next street.
As a geek, I welcome this brave new world of Bots, AI, VR, AR, Smart Assistant, Machine Learning, Smart Analytics, Big Data, Smart Cars, Smart Cities and IOT. However, all these enable certain comfortability at an affordable price on a day to day life. As the last decade, Smart Phone revolution have connected Billions of people with all walks of life. Starting from a farmer in a developing country who is using the technology to know harsh weathers to Kim Kardashian, who uses the same technology to pose nude selfies.
But what have these technologies done to the quality of human life, more precisely "The Health". Is the tracking device over the neck is the best that we can do for Mr. Robinson. Where is the disruption in the health sector? Connecting with doctors/bots who is going to interact with us and providing general analysis on the common flu/cold, a mobile app that searches the doctor in the local neighborhood provides a review, which schedules an appointment, a Skype chat with a doctor and accessing the record of a patient over a cloud are not groundbreaking revolution. These technologies have put a cool gadget on doctor's hands but have not done anything for Mr. Robinson other than a gadget around his Neck and a Mobile app that tracks both the dog and Mr. Robinson.
Technology should have a profound impact on Mankind. My fellow citizens of silicon valley, please disrupt the health. Put memories back to Mr. Robinson. Maybe all his memories are stored in a cloud which I call it as an external brain, and when this disease hits him hard, he relies on this external brain that communicates with the local brain and helps Mr. Robinson to wave at me with a smile and not with a gaze.