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Fitbits Are Putting Pressure On The NHS By Making People Think They're Ill

Fitbits Are Putting Pressure On The NHS By Making People Think They're Ill

Fitbits and similar devices have helped countless people lose weight and improve their health. But like with almost any technological advancement, they have come with some negative knock-on effects.

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A report from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has indicated that people misinterpreting information on digital fitness trackers is putting added strain on the NHS.

The data collected by heart rate monitors is making some people fearful they have a health problem, and they are subsequently booking unnecessary GP appointments.

The report warns of a 'dystopian' scenario whereby devices harm the NHS 'at scale' because people 'have erroneously been told to attend [the doctors] by their AI-enabled Fitbit or smartphone', The Times reports.

Jack Ross, one of the paper's authors, said his own patients had come to him with concerns stemming from such devices, 'thinking they have a fast rate or low heart rate when it has been normal'.

Doctors have warned that devices such as Fitbits are leading some people to have misguided concerns about their health. Credit: PA
Doctors have warned that devices such as Fitbits are leading some people to have misguided concerns about their health. Credit: PA
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The chairman of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Carrie MacEwan, warned that the introduction of such devices into society needs to be handled with care.

She said: "Doctors have always welcomed technological advance.

"But what this report shows clearly is that we must manage the way it is introduced with as much care as we would with any other medical breakthrough."

Indeed, there are a few technological advancements that have cropped up since the Fitbit that we should probably all approach with a great deal of care.

New to 2019 is a wearable testicle-cooling device, designed with the very noble purpose of boosting fertility. But just like with Fitbits, the device links to an app which allows you to monitor semen temperature. As such, this technological advancement has the same potential to burden our health service, as blokes flock to the docs, worried their swimmers are too warm.

Then there's the 'Autoblow AI' device, which does exactly what it says on the tin - it noshes you off using artificial intelligence.

Its inventor, Brian Sloan, said: "We spent the last three years listening to feedback from our 200,000 Autoblow 2 owners and in response built a new machine that mechanically better replicates the gliding and friction combination of the mouth and hand that men experience during oral sex.

"By using artificial intelligence to, for the first time, understand the mechanics of blowjobs, we discovered and replicated techniques that make using our machine feel less robotic and more human."

Whether that product description sounds utterly terrifying or mega arousing is a matter of perspective.

LADbible has contacted Fitbit for comment

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: uk news, Technology, NHS, Health

Jake Massey

Jake Massey is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from Newcastle University, where he learnt a bit about media and a lot about living without heating. After spending a few years in Australia and New Zealand, Jake secured a role at an obscure radio station in Norwich, inadvertently becoming a real-life Alan Partridge in the process. From there, Jake became a reporter at the Eastern Daily Press. Jake enjoys playing football, listening to music and writing about himself in the third person.

 

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