The Healthcare Insurance Impact of Your Social Media Graph

Question: Why wouldn’t Healthcare insurance companies follow and compile the social graphs of its customers?

Thought: What if health insurance companies realized that with whom you associate may correlate to your health and thus risk?

After all, that’s one of the powers (potentially) of accumulating use of social media.

Further thought: What if your online behavior indicated (directly or indirectly) your health behavior – either psychiatric or otherwise?

Business opportunity: can you imagine a new niche industry furnishing insurance companies with social graph data with analytical profiles of health risks?

Do you see where this arc of questioning is going?

Yes, there are regulatory implications.

Yes, there are ethical implications.

Yes, there are political, social and economic implications.

No, we haven’t addressed this (inevitable?) problem.

Note: this problem isn’t limited to private health insurance – even in a single-payor system, governments could do the same thing – perhaps at at even wider and larger scale!

Note: Eventually, more people will share their health problems, experiences and successes – that’s the trend.

So as the web – social and mobile technologies in particular – suck us in deeper into the vortex in time, space and energy, we shall have to reason together what best to do with the very real problems posed by these technologies and our relationships with them.

Questioning concerning Healthcare Social Media – this is our collective imperative.

Do you see why this blog is more important than the infinitely redundant array of posts on how to construct a lame tweet? 😉

My friends: we live among merciless technological changes – why on earth would you not scope these problems from the sky, dive and devour them with the passion of hungry eagles?

Or do you prefer to play the lamb, willfully ignorant of the wolves hungry to pounce when given the chance?

@PhilBaumann – @HealthIsSocial – Newsletter


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