Swiss health insurers could demand higher premiums from customers who live sedentary lifestyles under plans to monitor people’s health through wearable digital fitness devices.
CSS, one of Switzerland’s biggest health insurers, said on Saturday it had received a “very positive” response so far to its pilot project, launched in July, which is monitoring its customers’ daily movements.
The MyStep project, developed in conjunction with the University of St Gallen and the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, is using digital pedometers to track the number of steps taken by 2,000 volunteers until the end of the year, synchronizing that data with an online portal on the CSS website.
But don’t worry, that is just the pilot program:
Fitness wristbands such as Fitbit are just the beginning of a revolution in healthcare, believes Ohnemus.
“Eventually we will be implanted with a nano-chip which will constantly monitor us and transmit the data to a control centre,” he said.
Obesity in Switzerland now costs the health service eight billion francs a year, according to figures from the Federal Office of Public Health, rising from 2.7 billion in 2002.
There is more here, and for the pointer I thank Axacatl Maqueda.