New Biomonitoring Technologies Available by 2016 May be One Way to Reduce Health Disparities Related to Cancer and Diabetes

Forecasting the trajectory of biomonitoring technologies and targeting their impact to reduce health care disparities

A research team at the Institute for Alternative Futures analyzed applications of electronic biomonitoring technology, which can be used by patients and their physicians to measure and track indicators of health and disease.

The goals of the project were to:

  • Predict those biomonitoring technologies likely to be available in 2016.
  • Identify those technologies with the greatest potential to reduce disparities in health care, particularly in cancer and diabetes.

The researchers completed a final project report summarizing their findings.

Key Findings

  • The research team identified a number of emerging biomonitoring technologies that it predicts will be widely available by 2016 and that show the greatest potential to reduce disparities in health care. These technologies include:

    • Electronic body monitors, such as wristbands, to help patients keep tabs on their weight, stress or glucose levels.
    • Blood tests to detect early signs of cancer, particularly colon, breast and lung cancers.
    • Software applications to allow cell phones to both collect and transmit physiological data, such as caloric expenditure, to computers of patients and their doctors.