Originally published September 30 2014
Smartphones now in development will monitor users' blood and speech
by L.J. Devon, Staff Writer
(NaturalNews) Smartphones continue to evolve, becoming more and more like micromanagement devices in the process. These devices absorb information like a sponge, building a profile on their user, information that can easily be breached by third parties. Using GPS technology, these gadgets already detail everywhere a person goes, mapping out their travels on a computer grid, making it easy to monitor and track people's every move. On top of that, the NSA dragnets smartphone communication data, screening texts, emails and calls. Internet sites visited, credit card purchases, social media activity -- all of this information can now be collected and analyzed in elaborate algorithms to market back to individuals. Smartphones are a gateway to a world where people have no private lives, a world where intelligence operations know everything about everybody.
Future smartphones to gather new information about users' blood and speech, compromising privacy furtherNow there is a smartphone in development that will monitor users' blood and speech. This technology can really build a profile on users that is elaborate in detail. Using a camera, the phone can scan facial features for facial recognition databases. Now, with the built-in microphones, the phones can analyze a user's voice. In this way, smartphones make a great reverse spy tool that can be used against their users. New prototypes will seek to know the blood of users, analyzing DNA, stress and potential diseases. Of course, all these smartphone capabilities can be used to make life more convenient, but what about the privacy implications?
Lab-on-chip technology providing users with important personal health information that may help prevent diseaseReceiving a $3 million Nation Science Foundation grant over the next five years, Cornell University will look to create smartphones that monitor and track users' health. David Erickson, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, is heading up a team of investigators to begin a program called PHeNoM, which stands for Public Health, Nanotechnology and Mobility.
The phones of this program will act like a handheld doctor. One, Stress-Phone, will provide stress management data by observing users' voice patterns. The Nutri-Phone will bring users up to date with their nutrition levels. The third system, Hema-Phone, will monitor things like viral loading in HIV-positive patients. Current progress using a camera accessory application called a "smartCARD," can already measure cholesterol levels in a drop of blood in just minutes.
"We believe that the science and technology enabled by the PHeNoM program will ultimately lead to widespread access to the wealth of health information obtainable from lab-on-chip technology," said Erickson.
Will the convenient access to personal health information help change behavior of individuals to promote better well being?
Erickson believes so: "This could fundamentally alter the domestic healthcare landscape by enabling earlier stage detection of disease, reducing the cost of public healthcare delivery and allowing individuals to take better control of their own wellbeing."
"Eventually we hope that the Nutri-Phone will measure a multitude of vitamin and micronutrient deficiencies like A, B12 and iron, as well as D and be deployed in the developing world where nutritional deficiencies are most prevalent," said Erickson.
How the technology works so farThe technology is centered on a smartCARD accessory that clamps over the phone's camera. After placing a drop of blood, sweat or saliva on a test strip in the reader, the phone's camera goes to work optically to detect biomarkers in the body fluid. A smartphone application then processes the results using colorimetric analysis. After calibrating the hue saturation, the smartphone then displays the results on its screen. This could be useful for those who like to see, measure, document or record their health progress, ultimately preventing disease and helping users be self-assured.
But in the end, users will be giving up their personal privacy to the cloud, where metadata can be intercepted and used by third parties or governments. How much information of yourself are you willing to let be known?
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