In the 1970’s Ron Howard defined the micromort as a measure of small risks. A micromort is one microprobability of death, i.e., a one in a million chance of dying. The micromort is useful for thinking about medical decisions that involve the possibility of death. You can read about how it can be used in a Ron Howard article for the Cambridge University Press titled, Microrisks for Medical Decision Analysis. For a video presentation of the concept go to YouTube.
I recently learned that the micromort detector is included as an “object” in Adrian Hon’s book, A History of the Future in 100 Objects. In the book Adrian says,
“The bracelet I am about to put on is a slender band of sensor-packed composites that tracks the usual things: blood pressure and oxygenation, heart rate, metabolic panel readings, galvanic skin response levels, and so on. The lifeline also hooks into the wearer’s glasses and other technology to determine, in short, what they are doing and how risky it is. All of this health and behavior data is then combined and converted into a single number — the micromort. ”
According to Adrian Hon, the “Lifeline” bracelet was introduced in the year 2032 by an insurance cooperative in Buenos Aires. The name of the company is Mutual Assurance.
After I read the book, I Googled micromort and discovered that a company, Micromorts, is planning to introduce an iPhone App on the Apple App Store. The app will be called Micromorts. I’m not exactly sure how close to Adrian Hon’s micromort detector it will be. You can go to the Micromorts website and sign up for a notification when the product is available.
The year 2032 isn’t that far out. To see a video interview with Adrian Hon go to the Long Now website.