Blake Dowling: How wearable tech saves lives

Step into the future with wearable tech gadgets like smartwatches and AR glasses
Tech is not to be feared, the doomsday narrative is lame and shortsighted.

For over a decade, I’ve shared stories of cybercrime in hopes that it will help you protect yourself from rogue technology and hackers.

I’ve also shared stories of how innovative technology helps shape our world and state each day. These topics are extremely important, but today, we will explore the technology used for the most important task on the planet, which is saving lives.

A few years ago, I wrote about drone tech impacting several industries. The column focused on real estate, media, and even food delivery, but this story is about a drone and the sheriff’s office in Hillsborough County utilizing drone tech to save a little girl’s life.

Last month, a young girl in Tampa was reported missing from her home one late afternoon. She was only 5 years old and was autistic.

The woods near her house quickly turned into a swamp, and if the situation had continued into the evening, the outcome may have been very different.

Local authorities with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office dispatched an aviation unit (drones) with the officers searching for her on the ground and in the sky. They used thermal imaging on a high-flying drone to lock on to her heat signature. Next, it was a matter of relaying the coordinates of that heat signature to the officers on the ground. Those officers and their quick deployment of the drone tech are beyond heroes for that girl and her family. Their actions showed law enforcement around the nation how it’s done. There is a clip online of some of the rescue for you to see:

What happens when you fall out of a boat in bad weather? Can technology help save you from drowning? It sure can, as we saw in Walton County last year when a man fell out of the boat, and his wife called 911 for help.

The dispatch officer used a tech tool called Rapid Deploy to find the trajectory where the man was floating as it was choppy and the wife quickly lost track of him. The dispatcher meanwhile talked the wife info getting the boat moving and tracking him with the trajectory the app gave, and they found him.

This tech gives the dispatch team tools to respond quicker, smarter, and, most importantly, to help save lives.

I have personally never been a fan of smartwatches. Years ago, I wrote a column about them and decided they were not for me.

Perhaps I was not focusing on the upside of wearable devices, as Apple Watches have been credited with saving many lives over the years. Last year, a grandmother in Boca Raton was feeling just fine as she readied for bed one evening. Her watch disagreed and alerted her to a life-threatening situation. Her heart readings, which the watch tracks, were off the charts. She called a neighbor and told him, and he called 911 and her life was saved.

The story was captured by Good Morning America.

Maybe an Apple Watch or other wearable is indeed a good investment, especially for anyone who lives alone.

On the artificial intelligence front, a great deal of media coverage this year has focused on panic, negativity, and even musicians up in arms about fake AI music.

However, when you look at AI in medicine, the narrative swings quickly to the positive. Delray Medical Center in Florida is using artificial intelligence tools right now to save lives. They use an app called Viz Vascular that reviews CT scans and can find things like an aneurysm or a pulmonary embolism.

Once it does, the app sends an alert to the medical team before the actual reports have even been processed. These types of diagnoses can mean life or death with getting the patient back in ASAP for treatment.

 Who would not want an extra set of eyes on their charts? Especially a set of computer eyes that has the combined medical knowledge of all humanity in its brain.

Tech’s applications and uses are so much more than what we see in the office, the cloud, the airline, cybercrime, the factory, the internet of things, smart cars, music, Netflix, elections and ordering food.

Technology is about to break through even further.

These stories today are just the beginning as we enter what I predict to be a new golden age for humanity.

Tech is not to be feared, the doomsday narrative is lame and shortsighted.

I prefer the positive view. Think of it this way: Technology can be the ally humankind needs to live safely and elevate society to a brighter future.

Seem farfetched?

Tech does not start wars, we do, tech can be used to make the world a better place.

All we must do is make sure it is used properly. That might equate to some heavy lifts by just about all of us and it certainly won’t happen overnight.

But I believe that in these next decades, we will see our society hitting peaks of progress, innovation, and peace like never before.

As Sarah Conner once said: “There is no fate, but what we make for ourselves.” Game on.


Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies and can be reached at [email protected].

Blake Dowling

Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies. His technology columns are published by several organizations. Contact him at [email protected] or at


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