I’ve written previously about the importance of the wrist in healthcare and how we’re in the middle of a “battle for the wrist.” The wrist is going to be an important battle. We’ll also see many other battles for glasses, shirts, shoes, etc. However, there’s one smart health device that I think has gotten overlooked by many: the car.
Think about how much time people spend traveling in their car each day. We can thank long commutes for this. It’s the perfect opportunity to build in smart health technologies. You’re a captive audience in a generally relaxed state. Ok, I’m sure some wouldn’t consider the daily commute a relaxed state. However, I’ve personally found it to be quite relaxing once you’re in the daily commute rhythm. Back when I was commuting regularly, I’d literally go into an almost robotic state as I made my daily drive.
Another advantage the car has is that it has no size issues. No one cares if your smart health care devices weighs 1 pound or 10 pounds. Size is also much less of an issue. Imagine how big you can make a smart health device on your wrist. Now imagine how much more space you have in a car. It’s really an almost laughable comparison.
Of course, there are some definite weaknesses of a smart health device in your car. For example, you have to drive and so pretty much everything you do needs to be voice activated or just work seamlessly with no user interaction. The great part is that voice recognition has gotten so much better. Plus, the very best health devices are going to be those that casually monitor your health with no user interaction needed. This is a powerful concept and perfect for the captive car driving audience.
While many underestimate the potential of the car as a health device, the car manufacturers aren’t underestimating the opportunity at all. Sure, they are careful in their approach, but they absolutely see an opportunity. We haven’t yet seen the breakout health app for cars, but it’s coming. Pretty soon the car will become a smart phone on wheels.