by Krissy Goelz (@krisgoelz)
Mirror, mirror on the wall, whos the healthiest one of all?
Imagine if looking in the mirror could reveal more than just the lines on your face or the state of your hair. What if the mirror was magic and could know what medications you needed to take or whether your blood sugar might be low? Wouldnt it be great if we could improve our health just by looking in the mirror? While that may sound like a scene straight from The Jetsons, that vision could soon become a reality thanks to Magic Mirror technology.
Created by researchers from the New York Times R&D lab, the Magic Mirror combines voice recognition and motion sensing technology with an RFID tag reader. The technology is actually a computer with a reflective surface, creating an interactive information center in the privacy of an individuals restroom.
How can the Magic Mirror improve health care?
It can keep patients on track Forget missing doctor appointments or failing to remember to schedule your next mammogram. A calendaring application is available via a touch screen right on the mirror (watch out for finger smudges!) and can help people remember to keep their scheduled appointments, set up a visit with their health care practitioner or take their medication as prescribed.
It puts detailed information about prescriptions at a patients fingertips Forget late night calls to the neighborhood pharmacy to determine drug interactions or to ask if your medication needs to be taken with food. Putting a prescription bottle or OTC medication tagged with an RFID chip on the mirrors small ledge displays information about the drug such as when and how it should be taken, potential side effects, the prescribing physicians name and other pertinent details.
It can encourage healthy choices Not only can virtual technology help users “try on clothes or visualize different hair colors and style, it can also point to other body issues such as weight gain. Unlike a regular mirror that just reveals your problem areas, the Magic Mirror can pinpoint where weight gain occurred and connect it to potential health concerns. The mirror can also be used by marketers to deliver healthy tips or coupons to inspire purchase.
It helps people stay current with news and events Most people dont talk about reading in the bathroom, but it often is a sanctuary for interrupted time used to educate or entertain. With the Magic Mirror, they can get alerts about drug recalls or access breaking news about health trends, prescriptions and more. The NY Times API enables it to deliver its own content such as blog posts, articles and videos, perpetuating anywhere, anytime access to information.
While the technology is still in prototype phase and its general availability has yet to be announced, its likely to be affordable with it hits the stores. Reflecting on the way technology has advanced, its only a matter of time until the Magic Mirror shows itself on the home front.