The Slatest

Jeb Bush Prescribes an Apple Watch a Day for America’s “Disease System”

Jeb Bush in Arizona on Thursday.

Photo by Laura Segall/Getty Images

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush has had an exciting week, most of it spent trying to un-say things about the Iraq war and un-declare that he’s running for president. But one thing he seems pretty solid on, according to a Bloomberg report, is that Apple Watches are going to play an exciting part in Americans’ health if Jeb realizes his goal of “unraveling” health care reform.

Bloomberg got the short course in health technology from Jeb, whose “consumer-directed model where people are engaged in making health care decisions for themselves” would apparently include scoldy smartwatches. Jeb told an audience in Tempe, Ariz. on Thursday of the many wonders that would soon be found on his wrist:

On this device, in five years, will be applications that will allow me to manage my health care in ways that five years ago were not even possible. I’ll have the ability, someone will, you know, because of my blood sugar… someone will send me a signal, it’ll come here, I’ll get a double beep saying you just ate a butterscotch sundae or something like that. You went way over the top. You’re a diabetic, you can’t do that—whatever. We’ll be able to guide our own health care decisions in a way that will make us healthy. Ultimately, we have to get to a health system, away from a disease system.

Technology, including wearable tech, will no doubt have a role in the future of health care. Even now, there are promising signs that devices like Fitbits can help people stick to an exercise regimen, even if they’re only motivated by one-upsmanship. But will five years really be long enough to invent a smartwatch that can prick diabetics with needles or sniff their sweat in order to snoop on their blood sugar? And if it is, won’t Americans, armed with the information that their watches spend all day harvesting, eventually need an affordable way to consult medical professionals that are not tethered to an iPhone?

At least one of Jeb’s fellow Floridians was unimpressed with his bold vision for ditching the country’s “disease system.”

Better check the App Store for something to treat third-degree burns.