Are smartwatches eroding solidarity? The Big Government scenario

In the GDI study "Are smartwatches eroding solidarity? Scenarios for a data-driven healthcare system", four scenarios depict possible changes in the health care system. The Big Government scenario depicts a state with a reward system.
20 January, 2022 by
Entsolidarisiert die Smartwatch? Das «Big Government»-Szenario
GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute

The following text is an excerpt from the GDI study "Are Smartwatches Eroding Solidarity?" that can be ordered on our website.

The GDI’s Big Government scenario or a possible future health care system describes a world in which the government pursues the goal of maximising general health in an efficient and evidence-based manner. In this scenario, other goals such as increasing wealth are only means to improve the physical and mental health of the population.

Maximum health is achieved here with the guiding hand of the state. This control is legitimised with the assumption that most people are too lazy, too uninformed and too irrational to lead healthy lives on their own. Only with a strong state is it possible for residents to achieve their best possible health.

In order to strengthen public health in an evidence-based manner, the government must have access to as large a database as possible. Citizens are therefore obliged to collect health data and make it available to the state, which compiles it in a central data pool.

However, health data alone are not sufficient to obtain a comprehensive picture of health and in particular of its influencing factors. They are enriched with social, economic and ecological factors, which are also recorded on a large scale. In addition to classic census data on income and wealth, this also includes data on environmental pollution or movement behaviour. Because currencies have been completely digitised in this scenario, the state can also track all financial transactions - and thus see who spends their money on alcohol or fast food, for example.

To improve the health of its population, the state relies on two pillars. It promotes and demands. On the one hand, it creates framework conditions so that it is as easy as possible for citizens to lead a healthy life. On the other hand, healthy behaviour is demanded through a system of rewards and punishments.

You can find out more about this Big Government scenario and three others in the GDI study "Are smartwatches eroding solidarity? Scenarios for a data-driven healthcare system".

Scenarios for a data-driven healthcare system

Study, 2021 (free download)

Languages: German, English, French
Format: PDF, 60 pages
Commissioned by: Sanitas Health Insurance Foundation

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