I went to the rock climbing gym last night. My first time climbing in Hong Kong in over a decade and first time climbing since going in Long Island City, NYC with Stacks colleagues in the pre-covid days. I'd forgotten what a great social activity...meet new people, learn new things and get some exercise.
Unfortunately, afterwards, I started feeling sick. First a headache, then cloudy thinking and suddenly my energy started disappearing. I quickly went home and to bed and ended up sleeping 15 or 16 hours. When I woke up, still feeling the same, I was naturally curious as to what was wrong with me. Was it covid? Something else?
While browsing my local Mannings for cold medicines, I noticed that they still sold Covid tests...five for HK$20...about 50 cents US each. Next it was a new test I'd never seen before...a rapid test for covid, influenza A and influenza B for 10x the price...HK$40 for one test. Curious, I bought one. I took it home and tried it out but I apparently didn't have covid or the flu.
But it got me thinking, why aren't there more inexpensive diagnostic and monitoring tools available for consumers? How much time and money could be saved if we were able to get cheaply and quickly get objective information about what's going on in our bodies without having to make a doctors appointment and jump through a bunch of expensive hoops to get a test? We've seen how cheap and covid tests have gotten...imagine what we could do if barriers were removed so that the market could develop cheap and easy tests for everything.
You might take a home test once a week that checked all of your vitals and the presence of any infectious agents. Or get an early warning about a possibly developing health issue. Perhaps this can be automated into a wearable device like Apple Watch.
Instead we're stuck with expensive annual health checks gated behind the rent seeking medical industry.