What If Onstar Came with a Mechanic?

By Lee Shapiro

I am a big fan of OnStar because it provides a fantastic service that can help you out in a number of jams – anything from  unlocking your car if you leave your keys inside or alerting you to an impending service need. It can even help if your navigation system is flaking out and routes you into an alley, as mine once did.

It makes me wonder what it would be like if OnStar not only noticed an issue, but fixed it? Let’s keep the conversation in the automotive field, but look at a different company – Tesla. Tesla has an auto-download feature to update software onboard its vehicles. What if that program anticipated a problem in your brake pads and it could be fixed remotely too?

This brings me to the more interesting question of why our cars get better care than we do ourselves. My 7wire co-founder, Glen Tullman, understood this in a highly personal way when his family foundation funded the Artificial Pancreas Project to improve care for those with diabetes. Connecting a continuous glucose monitor with an insulin pump through smart software will provide important advances in protecting Diabetics.

recent CNN10 feature highlighted medical technology advancements that are reshaping patient care as we know it. Implantable chips that deliver precise doses of medication are in our future. Data from wearable monitors can alert a care team when a cardiac patient needs an adjustment to his or her medication as opposed to waiting for the next ambulance ride to the emergency room…or worse.

These advances will improve the quality of care at lower costs than the alternative of surgery, hospitalization or the debilitating effects of long-term ailments. It is high time that we have the same benefits for our bodies as we have for our four-wheeled chassis.