Will Keas Live Up To Its Potential?
"The human body does enormously well healing itself," Keas founder, and ex-Google Health lead, Adam Bosworth told Health 2.0 conference-goers shortly after stepping on stage. On the heels of an article in the New York Times that touted the company's beta launch, Bosworth walked the crowd through the way we'll keep ourselves healthy in the future, using Keas' platform.
Over the past few years, Bosworth carefully watched as the Health 2.0 revolution unfolded. Medical issues became less of a private experience. People, who at one time only discussed personal ailments with their family physician, now turned to family and trusted friends for medical advice. With the boom of the Internet, a person's trusted medical community suddenly became infinite.
Of all people, Bosworth understood the potential power of the internet on health, where the collective wisdom of the patient population could reach thousands, or millions, of other people. So he wondered, if people were readily turning to the web for information when they got sick, could customized, preemptive web advice keep people from getting sick in the first place?
Keas' system uses custom "Care Plans" that collect personal data that the user either uploads at the website, or is transferred directly from a lab, like Quest Diagnotics. Keas plans to run its own iPhone-like App Store, where doctors or other health care providers create their own Care Plans, integrate them into the Keas platform, and instantly distribute them to millions of people.
By personalizing the measures we can take to stave off certain predisposed conditions, Keas' Care Plans should improve our health. But the real promise of the company, wasn't in what Bosworth delivered onstage, but rather, in something he simply mentioned in passing. Bosworth alluded to the idea that not only will Keas' platform let people track their own health, but it could also allow people to keep tabs on their family's health as well.
Imagine logging into your Keas profile, and being presented with a dashboard that shows the current health information for your spouse, child, and elderly parent. Did your husband get his blood work test today? How much has your child exercised? Has your 80-year-old father read the online information packet on "Preventing Falls in the Home"? At a glance, you'd have this information in front of you on the Keas website, if the company follows through with this idea.
When people become chronically ill, or simply start living into their eighties and nineties, maintaining health shifts from an individual to a team sport. There's too much information for one person to process and comprehend. Too many medications. Too many things to keep straight. Current estimates put 30 million people in the US as primary caregivers -- adults, aged 18 or over, who maintain the personal well-being of another adult. Keas' program has the potential to make the term "long-distance caregiver' obsolete. Everyone would be just a click away from checking-in with their loved ones.