Vitaltech-How much responsibility do they have?

Use this forum to discuss the March 2018 Book of the Month, "Final Notice" by Van Fleisher.
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kfwilson6
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Re: Vitaltech-How much responsibility do they have?

Post by kfwilson6 » 18 Mar 2018, 21:06

VictoriaMcMillen wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 17:02
I do not believe that any responsibility would fall on VitalTech for simply offering the option to participants. I do think they should have sent an URGENT message to see their doctor and also one to their doctor with all the feedback they could offer to assist in the participants well being. I do think participants would have taken it seriously had they received the simple education necessary to understand the possible severity and implications. I believe the Final Notice is the equivalent to a doctors notice, given the outcomes in the book.
VitalTech did not initially plan to work with doctors closely about diagnoses and health plans, at least from what I gathered. It seemed like doctors were just an avenue to get the product to the test group. This story could go a lot differently with more of a collaboration between doctors and Vitaltech staff.

Thanks for your feedback! It's always great to mitigate risks, even if the consequences are not your responsibility. My car will read my text messages to me but won't display them on the touchscreen, encouraging me to keep my eyes on the road. It's not the car manufacturer's responsibility if I get in a wreck because I was reading a text, but if the car reads it to me, it does decrease that chance.

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Post by n-dai che » 18 Mar 2018, 22:33

I got your point either. The vt2 just wanted to help and make the users warn before they die. But it seems that they thought their Final Notice negatinegatively.

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Post by KLafser » 19 Mar 2018, 09:45

Kat Berg wrote:
05 Mar 2018, 08:15
... to me it is more a perfect storm of situations. Increased accessibility to guns + the new technology + decreased interaction with others = more potential for murderous outcomes.
I think this is an accurate reflection of the book - it IS a perfect storm kind of situation, including your added observation of the decreased interaction with others, (regardless of age demographic) which seems to be a byproduct of the technology age. The author did a good job of showing that VitalTech was trying to do the right thing and wasn't some villian-like corporation in it for just the money. This is demonstrated in their willingness to work with the FBI and to adjust the watch settings.

I don't know the right answer to the question about responsibility and I think it's a very tangled issue. The optimist in me would like to think people would not take the negative path and seek out revenge or retribution for (perceived) injustices but I know that's not reality. I do believe there is responsibility in diagnosis - and if the "diagnostic test" is run, then there is an obligation to communicate the results, in this case, the final notice. I guess my add on question is ... where do we draw the line regarding what is shared with a patient? It used to be, especially for severe news, that you had to come in to the doctor's office, be with someone so there was support in hearing the news. Receiving a final notice in conjunction with the isolation factor magnifies the issue.

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Post by kfwilson6 » 20 Mar 2018, 11:44

KLafser wrote:
19 Mar 2018, 09:45
Kat Berg wrote:
05 Mar 2018, 08:15
... to me it is more a perfect storm of situations. Increased accessibility to guns + the new technology + decreased interaction with others = more potential for murderous outcomes.
I think this is an accurate reflection of the book - it IS a perfect storm kind of situation, including your added observation of the decreased interaction with others, (regardless of age demographic) which seems to be a byproduct of the technology age. The author did a good job of showing that VitalTech was trying to do the right thing and wasn't some villian-like corporation in it for just the money. This is demonstrated in their willingness to work with the FBI and to adjust the watch settings.

I don't know the right answer to the question about responsibility and I think it's a very tangled issue. The optimist in me would like to think people would not take the negative path and seek out revenge or retribution for (perceived) injustices but I know that's not reality. I do believe there is responsibility in diagnosis - and if the "diagnostic test" is run, then there is an obligation to communicate the results, in this case, the final notice. I guess my add on question is ... where do we draw the line regarding what is shared with a patient? It used to be, especially for severe news, that you had to come in to the doctor's office, be with someone so there was support in hearing the news. Receiving a final notice in conjunction with the isolation factor magnifies the issue.
This is definitely a multifaceted issue. I am a huge believer in personal responsibility. If someone handed me a gun and told me to go shoot someone, is it their responsibility if I do? Of course not, I was perfectly capable of NOT doing it. Of course, my personal beliefs are that that is unacceptable. Others may not be so convicted so can be swayed more by outside forces. However, this does not mitigate their responsibility. In today's corporate environment, VitalTech's response was actually relatively considerate.

If the watch is meant to predict something life threatening and doesn't alert to anything less severe, then all info should be funneled through the doctor for a one on one visit. The user should be notified of health issues whether they can be reversed/treated or not. That is the responsible thing for someone to do if they know harm is imminent to another.

Great response. Very insightful, I enjoyed your contribution to this discussion.

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Post by toribyers13 » 20 Mar 2018, 12:50

I think they are responsible, but in more of an unintentional consequence way if that makes sense. I would definitely say they were the responsible party for making this option available at all; but they didn't know it was going to happen.

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Post by ReyvrexQuestor Reyes » 21 Mar 2018, 09:30

Vitaltech did not include a provision --- or rather, they would not allow --- that the user would solicit a second opinion as what we have in normal medical practice. With due respects to the efforts in making the watch an almost perfect device, technologically, I would say, the innovators have not thought thoroughly of the moral implications of the whole idea. To the Christian way of thinking, the concept is flawed right at the start. Nobody should usurp the power reserved only for God.
"In the beginning was the word.........John 1:1"

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Post by n-dai che » 22 Mar 2018, 04:25

ReyvrexQuestor Reyes wrote:
21 Mar 2018, 09:30
Vitaltech did not include a provision --- or rather, they would not allow --- that the user would solicit a second opinion as what we have in normal medical practice. With due respects to the efforts in making the watch an almost perfect device, technologically, I would say, the innovators have not thought thoroughly of the moral implications of the whole idea. To the Christian way of thinking, the concept is flawed right at the start. Nobody should usurp the power reserved only for God.
You're right! Vt2 idea was good but it is like inquiring a medium spiritism asking when you will die.

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Post by R-g-R » 25 Mar 2018, 19:27

A fascinating question. Legally, they were continually covering themselves and, according to the letter of the law, they were not responsible for individual actions. Morally, however, it is true that the shootings described in the book would not have occurred without the Final Notice impetus. From a business perspective I can see that there is pressure to be first to market and, if the FN feature was buried, no doubt another company would do the same one day, reaping all the benefits. The question here is: should market-based pressure be the deciding factor where issues of life and death are involved and, it could be argued, are being exploited?

In the book we read of one instance where the Final Notice was not actually the final notice. Had that character acted in haste, as others did, the outcome would have been very different, very negative, for significant numbers of people.

Ultimately, I believe that VitalTech needed to take responsibility and remove the Final Notice feature. I also believe that we need to return to humans, people, being the bottom line of any business transaction, rather than profit trumping commonsense and humanity.

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Post by n-dai che » 25 Mar 2018, 19:38

The Business transactions of the watch worsened the scenario . If removing the Final Notice feature, I guess it won't sell that much.

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Post by kfwilson6 » 26 Mar 2018, 09:16

R-g-R wrote:
25 Mar 2018, 19:27
Ultimately, I believe that VitalTech needed to take responsibility and remove the Final Notice feature. I also believe that we need to return to humans, people, being the bottom line of any business transaction, rather than profit trumping commonsense and humanity.
It would be so nice if this could actually happen. Customer service isn't about looking out for the customer's best interest, it is about providing whatever it will take to get a customer to buy a product or pay for a service. VitalTech's focus group, which indicated it wanted the final notice feature, played a major role in Dr. Patel's decision to leave the feature for future test groups. The focus group indicated they would be more likely to purchase the VT2 if it had the Final Notice feature. That was pretty bottom line for VitalTech.

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Post by britt13 » 27 Mar 2018, 16:27

melissy370 wrote:
02 Mar 2018, 16:33
I think VitalTech is responsible in some way. Maybe not for the initial ones but after they found the connection between the two they should have done the contact doctor option. It is different than a doctor telling them their prognosis because a doctor can make sure the patient has access to support systems. The watch in no way has that capability. It is true that some may not go to the support group but at least they were given the option.
I kept finding myself cringing that they did not just start handling it differently. I have no way of knowing if someone had access to a mental health professional that they would not have carried out the crime, but I have to feel like it would have thwarted most if not all.

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Post by britt13 » 27 Mar 2018, 16:30

DancingLady wrote:
03 Mar 2018, 17:09
I think VitalTech bowed to the pressure to keep the Final Notice feature when they should have realized that risk of revenge crimes, which had already happened, far outweigh the benefit. I think it would have been far wiser for them to change the notice to "see your doctor immediately." Getting a diagnosis of probable death from a person is far different than from a gadget. I think this would have made an enormous difference for a lot of people. Besides that, as they said, it's highly accurate, but not a guarantee, and some people might not bother seeing a doctor if they took the notice as fact when, had they gone with 20-30 days left, an emergency procedure or treatment might have given them more time.
It did say to call your doctor though. I think that they needed to have crisis help in place prior to the notice. Just telling someone to see their doctor, when they already know what that Final Noticed is, seems like putting a band-aid on a gash from your neck to your belly button.

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Post by DancingLady » 27 Mar 2018, 20:22

britt13 wrote:
27 Mar 2018, 16:30
DancingLady wrote:
03 Mar 2018, 17:09
I think VitalTech bowed to the pressure to keep the Final Notice feature when they should have realized that risk of revenge crimes, which had already happened, far outweigh the benefit. I think it would have been far wiser for them to change the notice to "see your doctor immediately." Getting a diagnosis of probable death from a person is far different than from a gadget. I think this would have made an enormous difference for a lot of people. Besides that, as they said, it's highly accurate, but not a guarantee, and some people might not bother seeing a doctor if they took the notice as fact when, had they gone with 20-30 days left, an emergency procedure or treatment might have given them more time.
It did say to call your doctor though. I think that they needed to have crisis help in place prior to the notice. Just telling someone to see their doctor, when they already know what that Final Noticed is, seems like putting a band-aid on a gash from your neck to your belly button.
Definitely, but my point is that they should not have any notice on the device that in and of itself tells the wearer they will die soon. "call your doctor immediately" does not necessarily mean you will die, it does mean you need urgent medical care. I think there's a big difference in how someone is likely to respond that way.

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Post by kfwilson6 » 28 Mar 2018, 11:21

DancingLady wrote:
27 Mar 2018, 20:22
britt13 wrote:
27 Mar 2018, 16:30
DancingLady wrote:
03 Mar 2018, 17:09
I think VitalTech bowed to the pressure to keep the Final Notice feature when they should have realized that risk of revenge crimes, which had already happened, far outweigh the benefit. I think it would have been far wiser for them to change the notice to "see your doctor immediately." Getting a diagnosis of probable death from a person is far different than from a gadget. I think this would have made an enormous difference for a lot of people. Besides that, as they said, it's highly accurate, but not a guarantee, and some people might not bother seeing a doctor if they took the notice as fact when, had they gone with 20-30 days left, an emergency procedure or treatment might have given them more time.
It did say to call your doctor though. I think that they needed to have crisis help in place prior to the notice. Just telling someone to see their doctor, when they already know what that Final Noticed is, seems like putting a band-aid on a gash from your neck to your belly button.
Definitely, but my point is that they should not have any notice on the device that in and of itself tells the wearer they will die soon. "call your doctor immediately" does not necessarily mean you will die, it does mean you need urgent medical care. I think there's a big difference in how someone is likely to respond that way.
I think a lot of the responses would be determined by how VitalTech marketed and explained whichever feature they chose to go with. If there was no particular explanation for what "contact your doctor" means, there would probably be a split between those who would take it too seriously and think it is a near death warning, others who would think it wasn't important at all, and those who would not panic but would make a point to see their doctor soon. However, if a very specific description was given about that feature it could minimize panic while still strongly encouraging the patient to take the warning seriously.

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Post by kfwilson6 » 28 Mar 2018, 11:24

britt13 wrote:
27 Mar 2018, 16:30
DancingLady wrote:
03 Mar 2018, 17:09
I think VitalTech bowed to the pressure to keep the Final Notice feature when they should have realized that risk of revenge crimes, which had already happened, far outweigh the benefit. I think it would have been far wiser for them to change the notice to "see your doctor immediately." Getting a diagnosis of probable death from a person is far different than from a gadget. I think this would have made an enormous difference for a lot of people. Besides that, as they said, it's highly accurate, but not a guarantee, and some people might not bother seeing a doctor if they took the notice as fact when, had they gone with 20-30 days left, an emergency procedure or treatment might have given them more time.
It did say to call your doctor though. I think that they needed to have crisis help in place prior to the notice. Just telling someone to see their doctor, when they already know what that Final Noticed is, seems like putting a band-aid on a gash from your neck to your belly button.
Crisis help is definitely a good idea. I think VitalTech could have done a lot to minimize the panic and more volatile responses to the Final Notice. This discussion led to some really great ideas. I hope if anyone ever invents such a device they heed our warnings! :ugeek2:

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