Can TV Make Us Healthier?

Posted on March 19, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I have been really intrigued lately by the idea of what it takes to have someone change a habit. The answers to this are really complex, but I think that’s what makes them so interesting. With this as background, I was incredibly intrigued by this tweet:

One thing that most readers don’t know, is that along with the Healthcare Scene blog network, I also have a network of reality TV blogs. Why and how is a discussion for another day and place. The reason I mention it is that I have a good understanding of the power of TV. So, I’m really intrigued by the idea of your TV helping you to be healthier.

I know we’ve all seen the various studies about how many hours a day people spend in front of the TV. In some ways, that time is shifting to the computer, iPad, or other device. However, in aggregate this time is actually increasing as more people spend more time in front of TV and TV related programming. I love the idea of your TV being used to help us be healthier.

We’re still in the very early stages of the Smart TV revolution. However, at CES I saw a number of Smart TVs that had all sorts of new technology that could be used in healthcare. The simplest example is the motion sensing that’s getting built into many smart TVs. Think Kinect built into your TV. Could that motion sensing be used to inspire healthcare?

Think about how motion sensing and other Smart TV technologies could be integrated into a TV show. Yes, these TVs can also be connected to the internet. With that connection, anything that the TV collects can be reported to anywhere on the internet.

This may sound far fetched now, but what if Biggest Loser incorporated motion sensing into who they sent home. Viewers could choose the team they wanted to support and then whichever team had the most people supporting them would get the votes. However, the voting would be based on how active the person was as tracked by their TV.

Sounds a little far fetched, but wait until creative minds start working with a network of internet enabled televisions that have sensors built in. Could they use the time people spend in front of the TV for good? It’s still a little early to say for sure, but I won’t be surprised if what we think of as a TV today is something completely different 10 years from now. Plus, it may even help many couch potatoes get up off the couch.