So you want to get healthy? What if I told you to go sit in your car? That doesn’t make a lot of sense does it? In fact, it’s a new prototype car called Nigel that was debuted this week at the University of Southern California’s body computing conference. Nigel is a Mini Cooper that has been outfitted with 230 sensors that monitor not only the car and its surroundings but also monitor the driver through things like ultrasound and cardiac sensors.

Car Monitors Vital Signs

The car can monitor vital signs like pulse and heart rate, respirations, even humidity, body sweat and temperature. It’s pretty amazing and it happens just by sitting down in the driver seat and grabbing the steering wheel. This is an innovative look at how everything in our daily lives can be integrated into a healthier approach to life. Your car can engage you when it senses you getting ready to fall asleep or losing attention on the road. Your car can notify you or send you an e-mail if it notices that your blood pressure seems to be up on a regular basis.

All of these new technologies can help you make better choices and decisions regarding your health because you’re going to be monitored on an ongoing basis. Imagine how great this would be if your healthcare provider, your primary care doctor gets all this information sent to them and when you go for your annual checkup they have a years worth of data on you and they can really get a sense of what’s going on behind the scenes despite what you may or may not reporting your history. This is an important tool.

Providing EMS eHealth Records

It is also something that we might be able to use in EMS. Maybe we can plug into that sensor or connect to it wirelessly and get information about the driver’s health history and information like that when we have a motor vehicle accident. The patient’s unconscious and can’t tell us that they have any allergies and can’t tell us they have a cardiac history. That information can be part of this smart car.

There’s lots of amazing everyday improvements through medical technology on the horizon and they’ll really change the way we interact with everyday devices around us. Your refrigerator, your automobile, or your washing machine in the basement can tell you things you need to know about your health. What if you clothes washer told your your clothes were too large and communicated with your refrigerator that you needed to lose weight? There are lots of options with how something like this can work.

Staying Healthy in the U.S.

This program with Nigel the smart car is all part of a push and initiative across the United States and really around the world to become healthier in the industrialized nations there is an incredible problem with obesity. In the United States as people continue to struggle with losing weight and getting healthier. Every little thing we can do to engage ourselves and remind ourselves to stay on track with a healthy program in our lives and lifestyle change is really what’s going to help us be successful. If you are interested, I urge you to check out the article over at It’s a really neat article about this car and all the things it can do. I’m looking forward to someday having a car that can do all of this.


Follow up on the links from this news item and all this week’s additional resources from the MedicCast — EMS Narrative Writing, Part 1 and Episode 305.


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