Ten years ago, Ellen DeGeneres did a stand-up routine called “Here and Now.” It is a litany of laugh lines about how we are all constantly bombarded with fast-paced, multi-tasking distractions, so much so that we feel the need to pay for silence (that bit starts at minute 16:38). Ellen’s HBO show was years before TikTok’s 15-second videos were invented, so her bit about anti-depressants (TV ad: “Are you stressed? Do you have anxiety?” Ellen: “Yes…I’m alive.”) did not mention how mental health issues are being caused by TikTok or that digital mental health apps are a big therapy solution. Next week, thousands of people will attend the ViVE conference, where digital health apps and software solutions will be pitched in an endless exhibit hall. The dissonance about the pros and cons of fast-paced and highly-private health data exchange will be temporarily ignored, even as attendees talk about how Sondermind acquired the well-respected mental health therapy app MindStrong and how the online mental health therapy app Cerebral just sent data breach notices to 3+ million users. How we will deal with the privacy issues of all of this is for some other 15-second moment in time. As Ellen explains about auto-flushing toilets and automatic water faucets (at minute 42:06), there are some things we just don’t have any control over.
March 24, 2023 | 3 min read
March 24, 2023
Only What Matters in Health Information Policy
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