/ Column / Health Reform and Building Safety: A Partnership for Better Living

Health Reform and Building Safety: A Partnership for Better Living

Lewis Fein on January 8, 2018 - 3:00 pm in Column

We cannot reform health care without improving building safety. The connection between the two may not be immediately apparent, but, upon reflection, it is undoubtedly essential. It does not matter how good our health care system is, nor how much better our health care system can be if we overlook the dangers that people face in the workplace or at home. If we do not maximize the power of technology to ensure every building, be it a commercial property or a residential high-rise has the means to be as safe as it should be then any such technology must emphasize the benefits of mobilization, automation, customization, and communication.

About the latter, I refer to the literal ability to communicate: a situation where the specifics of an individual property, a layout unlike any other building, with its own quirks and idiosyncrasies; and yes, buildings do have personalities, which range from inviting and interactive to particular and even peculiar –– a situation where communication by and to a building furthers the safety of the tenants or residents inside.

According to Aref Am, Founder of GreenApps.com:

“We cannot have the best healthcare in the world when we have people working or living in buildings that are unsafe, unsupervised and unprotected from a variety of threats. If we want to reform health care for the better, we had better pay attention to how we can reform the health of buildings throughout North America. We need these structures to ‘talk’ to owners and managers alike, so we can prevent a crisis from turning into a catastrophe –– thus we can contain an emergency before it becomes an epidemic.

“When all parties have an investment in their health and safety, we can achieve a measure of progress otherwise unimaginable. Technology makes this opportunity possible, while the right mobile application makes these advantages available to everyone.”

I agree with that statement because I know how much time I spend in different buildings throughout a given day. If a problem were to arise, and were I in a place where I could quickly – and simply – contact someone to, say, shut down an electrical system before a fire were to happen; if I were able to do this by tapping on my smartphone or tablet, were I able to do this without calling someone, I would have greater confidence in my health and safety.

The overarching theme, then, is this: Health care reform is a comprehensive undertaking. It involves so many seemingly unrelated factors, which often only reveal themselves (and their importance) after we have the perspective to see this issue in its totality.

That perspective is invaluable because it addresses topics like building safety, on the one hand, and the physical safety of millions of people, on the other. By combining the two, we will advance health care reform as the priority it must be.

This is our summons to action.


About the Author

Lewis Fein writes about a variety of health and wellness issues, in addition to pieces about technology, business, and management. Based in Southern California, you may email him at feinlewis@gmail.com

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