The Benefits of Wearable Health Technology vs. Privacy Of Data Issues
Sports Data And Concerns
Wearable devices have been booming for the past few years and it is no surprise that it making a huge impact on sports.
With the upcoming football season getting started, the New York Times has recently published an article about the partnership of University of Michigan and Nike, to track football players during practice and during games via wearable devices.
Many of the comments in the article talked about how dangerous it could be for the players. Which includes their prospects to play at the next level, the NFL, if data about their performance get out to the wrong hands.
Also mentioned was the fact that the data is the property of each individual player and did not belong to Nike or University of Michigan.
They even talked about what would happen if the data got into the wrong hands:
“Hackers could use the data to influence sports wagering, knowing more about the physical condition of teams and possibly players.
‘This is a place where there’s lots of money to be made, which means people will be motivated,’ Sublett said.”
There could be some truth in those concerns but I would like to give a different perspective on the issue.
A Different Perspective
Only briefly in the article did it talk about how sports data could be beneficial to the players.
“Melnik, the health care lawyer, said, ‘There’s a huge benefit to the player and the school — they can get treated faster, and potential long-term damage can be contained.'”
That is essentially all that was said about the benefits of wearable technology in sports.
Doesn’t that seem quite odd?
How come they don’t touch more on the fact that these wearable devices could save the player’s careers or even their lives?
Maybe that football player who died of sickle cell could have been saved if his heart condition was found earlier, due to some smart monitoring gadgets?
Or maybe fewer concussions would occur in football because they can monitor how much force is being placed on the player’s heads during collision.
And maybe those players who break their legs from too much stress could prevent those injuries with insight into their body conditions.
Many of the things I listed above would not only improve the health of the players but also save their careers as well.
As far as the other concerns go…
Players are athletes. Let me repeat, players are ATHLETES.
If a player is scared of scouts finding out about their athletic performance during practice or games, then maybe they don’t deserve to play in the NFL.
How often do we see players drafted to the NFL only to never perform as expected? Quite often if you ask me.
Maybe we can significantly decrease those false positives with data technologies via wearable devices.
That way, only the players that have the capabilities of playing at the highest level will be in the NFL.
Therefore, professional games will be even more fun to watch for fans. Also, professional athletes would have better teammates to depend on.
On the issues concerning hackers taking advantage of the situation of sports data…
it could definitely be a possibility.
Wherever there is money to be made, there will be people trying to exploit those circumstances.
But on the other hand, if hackers have the capacity to hack Nike, one of the premier brands of the world, and its encryptions, then why don’t they just go hack a bank or something with a higher return on investment?