Foursquare and 23andMe Can Save Your Life

Kevin Rose was almost right when said: “My Foursquare data will tell my life story”. The truth is, Foursquare will save Kevin’s life not just tell a story about it. Location based social networking websites are on the rage right now. Twitter is doing it, Gowalla is doing it, Google Buzz is doing it, Facebook is about to it.

Contexual Information Is Going To Be Huge

Geo tagged photos are cool, geo enabled status updates and tweets are helpful but geo information streams are links to the past, the present and the future of everyone’s life. Foursquare does a pretty god job connecting people, sharing information and stuff but it’s about to save a life and you’re going to pay for that.

Foursquare data will tell a story and save a life when each and every doctor and diagnostician has access to this date. Foursquare will add a stack of substantially critical and precise amount of information to each patient’s history. It will be easier than ever to suspect toxin exposure or overrule food poisoning just by looking at Foursquare’s check ins. Let’s examine a few examples of well know valley personalities.

Jason Calacanis and Robert Scoble recently became fathers. Both of them travel a lot and meet with a great deal of people. Assuming (god forbidden) their newborns have an allergic reaction. Doctors will be able to link and likely to treat the allergy when checking Jason’s and Robert’s previous check ins in the latest foodie startup in San Francisco. The tasty organic chocolate bars they bought for their kids apparently contain this variety of raspberries which is known of causing allergic reactions to kids.

Kevin Rose and Tim Ferriss recently came back from a trip to China. They visited so many different places and tried quite a few kinds of tea. Assuming (god forbidden) on their way back home Kevin or Tim gets sick because of some toxin used to spray parasites in a specific area of a Chinese province. If Foursquare was available in China (i assume it’s not because of the great China firewall) doctors will be able to treat for the specific toxin right away without waiting for the lab results, because Foursquare data will reveal the exact geographical area which will lead to a long and controversial use of DDT.

The Health Benefits Of Foursquare

A couple of years back, Om Malik suffered a heart attack. He fully recovered and he’s back into blogging like a rock star but what if his doctors had access to his Foursquare check ins of the last 4 years. Digging into the data revealed that Om’s eating habits were more on the healthy side with loads of Omega 6 and Omega 9 fatty acids rather than BBQ sauced T-bones because he visited way more fish and vegan restaurants than steak houses. Om’s diet was likely not a factor to his heart attack. The doctors will more likely suggest adjustments to his fitness program, if any, rather than a complete lifestyle change starting from food ending up to cardio sessions.

What’s cool about Foursquare data it’s the potential synergy with services like Google Health, Facebook and Twitter and data aggregation even from status updates, tweets and searches on the web about travel plans, food supplements, flower orders etc. What’s really great about Foursquare is the business model behind the idea. The company can sell data to pretty much anyone in the health industry including insurance companies and hospitals or even introduce the Foursquare Health and Foursquare Health Pro services.

23andMe DNA Test Helps You Understand Yourself

With services like 23andMe looking in the insides of human body and the potential of Foursquare for locating where our body was and what it was likely to inhale, taste and exposed to, doctors are positioned ahead of patient’s history and are able to diagnose and treat faster, better, cheaper.

Needless to say all examples mentioned above were purely fictional to the consequences level, no harm intended and stuff.

Update: But would you feel strange knowing that your doctor was Googling you? The practice appears to be widespread, according to an essay in the latest edition of the Harvard Review of Psychiatry […]

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