See how your smartwatch and other digital innovations can keep you healthier
Ric Edelman: If you're listening to The Truth About Your Future. You know, this is a program designed to help you figure out your future anticipated and it's kind of hard to separate wealth from health. And so I want to share with you one of the most impressive individuals in the fields of health and wealth, Dr. Daniel Kraft. He's chair of the X Prize Pandemic Alliance and faculty chair for medicine at Singularity University. Daniel is also founder of Digital Health and Continuum Health Ventures. He's a Stanford and Harvard trained physician, scientist, inventor, entrepreneur and innovator. He often speaks about the future of health, medicine and technology. And Daniel's given four TED talks and two TED MED talks. Daniel, it's wonderful to have you on the program with us today.
Dr. Daniel Kraft: Great to be with you. Good to see you.
Ric Edelman: Let's talk about health care in the context first annual in the context of the pandemic. Are there any positive ways that the pandemic impacted healthcare? The good news out of this?
Dr. Daniel Kraft: Yeah, I'm honestly, I'm a bit of an optimist. COVID sparking a bit of a new health age from telemedicine to new vaccines to new diagnostics are really going to help save more lives in the future than have been taken by this terrible plague. So it's been a bit of a forcing function. And so I think we've all gotten used to doing remote care. We've all done our first home-related test. We've seen mRNA and other forms of vaccines accelerate the hospital to home movement, doing remote patient monitoring. Even digital mental health has exploded. So in the theme of your show, the future is coming faster than you think. And COVID is a bit of a bit of a mode to bring some things that we really need to market faster.
Ric Edelman: So are there any technologies that ordinary folks can use today to improve health and wellness?
Early warning signs get easier to spot
Dr. Daniel Kraft: Now, we're in a time when we can start to digitize our health and start to measure in different, surprising ways. Most of us are wearing some sort of smartwatch or wearable item. I have on my Aura ring and my Apple Watch and all of them can pretty do similar things like track my sleep and its quality, how much activity I'm getting. They're starting to be sort of almost early check engine lights for our health that can predict whether you might have a heart condition like atrial fibrillation, whether you might have signs of COVID before you even are diagnosed, or if you're wearing an Aura ring, if you're a woman and getting pregnant, you might be able to pick that up from subtle changes in your digital exhaust. So those are early things almost anybody can do, which can have massive impacts from health care challenges.
Ric Edelman: So I remember a decade or two ago I called my doctor on the phone and he really didn't want to talk to me. And he said, I am not reimbursed by insurance companies to talk to you on the phone, so I have to bring you into the office, otherwise I don't get paid. That, of course, isn't the case today. And doctors now, especially in the world of COVID, my physician says, let's talk on the phone, you know, send me a text. So the world of healthcare has changed over the last decade or two. In terms of the delivery mechanism, what do you see over the next decade?
Your smart phone is now a health coach
Dr. Daniel Kraft: Well, I hope we're still using fax machines and CD-ROMS to communicate. I'm trained as a pediatrician as well. We now have apps on the phone that can help look inside your kid's ear and diagnose an ear infection. But as that pediatrician, is she reimbursed for doing that e-visit? It's all complicated. And in the United States, especially, we don't have any one healthcare system. There's this explosion of healthcare technologies. Most clinicians don't yet know what to utilize. It might be an app to help you meditate and improve your mental state. It might be connected pill bottle to help track adherence. You're connected smart home can watch your movement. So there's part of this emerging future and shift. We can start to become data donors build sort of a Google Maps or ways that are local to us, our conditions, whether it's public health or for a particular condition. We're starting to see examples of that come to market.
Ric Edelman: I guess what you're really describing is that health is going digital. Digital health is going to have an increasingly dominant role in healthcare generally.
Dr. Daniel Kraft: No, this emergent digital future means we can be much more continuous with our data from all sorts of forms genome, metabolome, microbiome, etc. Make sense of that data and start to use it in real time to monitor conditions and to help manage conditions like diabetes. That's leveraging AI, machine learning, blockchain, to make sense of the massive new forms of data into information that can really move the needle across many different spectrums.
Ric Edelman: What are some of the novel ways that our listeners can invest in their own health?
Dr. Daniel Kraft: There's always the basics, you know, exercise more, eat a little less. But that's hard to do. We can have all the information in the world, but we might not act on it. So we're entering this age of sort of digital nudges and hopefully better personalization. But I think what's getting exciting about this emergent future, we can really start to build a better model of 'you'. So the idea of a digital twin, the Ric twin, the Daniel twin, that can look at my metabolome to help me and my base genome and my microbiome to help be tuning a better, more precision diet than I hope might help prevent obesity or manage the disease.
Ric Edelman: That's Dr. Daniel Kraft here on The Truth About Your Future. Daniel, thanks so much for joining us on the program today.
Dr. Daniel Kraft: Thanks so much for having me.
Ric Edelman: Daniel and I actually chatted for about 25 minutes, if you would like to listen to the full interview and in fact, watch it as well, you can go to TheTruthAYF.com for the audio and video recordings of our conversation. That's the TheTruthAYF.com.