Easing the end of life: Startups that are helping people make the ultimate decision

I am reblogging this very interesting post by Ki Mae Heussner on technologies that are being designed to help ease the end of life.

This sounds like a very interesting and promising area and I can see this reaching a much bigger audience than trying to encourage people to make a living will.

I feel the biggest hurdles for this type of technology will be:

  1. Ensuring that all health care providers will have easy access to the electronic documents created by these apps/software. It will not work if patients are using software that is not recogised by health care professionals.
  2. Creating some mechanism of proving that it is the patient that has entered the details (and not someone else completing it on the patients behalf potentially without their knowledge).

Just another example of how new technologies can have a positive impact on people’s lives even if at the end…

Gigaom

The world of technology, particularly medical technology, tends to be consumed with making us superhuman. It wants to enhance our abilities and prolong our lives, if not enable us to live forever. But new innovations give rise to new and tough choices, and a small but growing group of startups sees it as their mission to use technology, not to extend life, but to help people make and document some of the most difficult decisions regarding the end of it.

The story of a patient from her days as a student at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine particularly haunts Azalea Kim, co-founder of the startup TrueNorth. A 60-year-old woman, who had terminal cancer, came to the emergency room one weekend evening in dire condition. Because of a complicated family situation, Kim said, she arrived alone, without any family member to serve as an advocate and describe the…

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