Can TV Make Us Healthier?

I have been really intrigued lately by the idea of what it takes to have someone change a habit. The answers to this are really complex, but I think that’s what makes them so interesting. With this as background, I was incredibly intrigued by this tweet:

One thing that most readers don’t know, is that along with the Healthcare Scene blog network, I also have a network of reality TV blogs. Why and how is a discussion for another day and place. The reason I mention it is that I have a good understanding of the power of TV. So, I’m really intrigued by the idea of your TV helping you to be healthier.

I know we’ve all seen the various studies about how many hours a day people spend in front of the TV. In some ways, that time is shifting to the computer, iPad, or other device. However, in aggregate this time is actually increasing as more people spend more time in front of TV and TV related programming. I love the idea of your TV being used to help us be healthier.

We’re still in the very early stages of the Smart TV revolution. However, at CES I saw a number of Smart TVs that had all sorts of new technology that could be used in healthcare. The simplest example is the motion sensing that’s getting built into many smart TVs. Think Kinect built into your TV. Could that motion sensing be used to inspire healthcare?

Think about how motion sensing and other Smart TV technologies could be integrated into a TV show. Yes, these TVs can also be connected to the internet. With that connection, anything that the TV collects can be reported to anywhere on the internet.

This may sound far fetched now, but what if Biggest Loser incorporated motion sensing into who they sent home. Viewers could choose the team they wanted to support and then whichever team had the most people supporting them would get the votes. However, the voting would be based on how active the person was as tracked by their TV.

Sounds a little far fetched, but wait until creative minds start working with a network of internet enabled televisions that have sensors built in. Could they use the time people spend in front of the TV for good? It’s still a little early to say for sure, but I won’t be surprised if what we think of as a TV today is something completely different 10 years from now. Plus, it may even help many couch potatoes get up off the couch.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.

3 Comments

  • You are the first person I’ve really hear speak about the possibilities of TV in healthcare and you’ve only scratched the surface of what is possible. I completely agree that it holds a place – we’re actually having discussions with some major operators about some options that weren’t touched upon in this article.

  • I won’t go into some of the specifics because we have projects in the pipeline in the space. However, I will say that the cable operators need to pay attention to how healthcare can tie-in, even more so than the actual TV manufacturers. The younger demographic is watching things on TV, but doing it increasingly through an Internet connection to that TV. The older generations aren’t doing this as much. They rely on traditional cable services, watch it more as family and work commitments decrease, and have the most healthcare costs. The cable companies could focus on providing differentiated services to this demographic, services focused on the aging and healthcare.

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