26 November 2021

Big Med is watching you

Humoural Theory

All patients are equal, but some patients smoke more ciggies than others.

The new Panopticon app promises to revolutionise Medicare’s universal coverage for medical and public hospital care. 

To put it in language the Prime Minister would understand, patients will now have to “have a go to get a go”.

“It’s a very simple app,” Professor Candid told TMR. 

“Once you’ve downloaded it you get Medicare credits, or Medicoins, as we call them. Every time you commit a ‘transgression’ Medicoins are deducted from your account, which means you have to contribute relatively more towards the cost of your health care. 

“For example, Medicoins are deducted if you refuse the covid vaccine and if you then end up needing oxygen in the hospital you’ll have to contribute more towards the cost of your care. It really is that that simple.” 

And it’s not just refusing a vaccine that can whittle away a patient’s Medicoins: there’s a raft of other misdemeanours that can be targeted by Panopticon. 

“We can look at patient’s online health data including their smoking and drinking status, we can look at their hospital notes, their ED attendances, their online purchases, their Facebook posts, their FitBit downloads and their credit rating. We can even look at their Instagram pics and of course their Google search histories. 

“These data sources can all be mined to provide a complete picture of the type of patient you are and how much you can be personally blamed for your health problems. 

“For example, if a pot-smoking porn addict checks in with their app they’ll have to pay more for their consultation and prescriptions than a migrainous knitter who enjoys nothing more than a glass of merlot and an evening with Michael Bublé.” 

There are already plans to further widen Panopticon’s net with the Pan-dob-icon feature: “In 2023 we’ll start to accept online reports from friends, family and partners, and it’s only then that we’ll truly be able to scrutinise a patient’s behaviour.” 

Professor Candid provided The Medical Republic with some examples of antisocial behaviour which if reported could lead to a reduction in Medicoin allowance: 

  • Puking on your friend after a night out and then laughing at him as he slowly dries on the night-bus home
  • Boiling milk in a kettle because you can’t be bothered to use the communal kitchen only to short out the power to your entire block of student flats
  • Attempting to bury your landlord’s dining room table and chairs in the back garden for shits and giggles
  • Ironing a raw chicken because you’re starving and can’t be bothered to cook 
  • Telling a friend that Lance Armstrong deliberately removed his own testicles so that he could sit on a more streamlined seat only for the same friend to relay it in all seriousness to a packed lecture theatre during a talk called “Motivation in Sport”
  • Testing out the famous echo in the reading room of the British Library 
  • Drinking a litre of coconut Malibu, wandering out into the street and then pissing up the side of a parked car, not realising that the owner of the car, who happens to be sitting behind the wheel, is also your fiancée’s mum.  

Professor Candid was quick to point out that these instances definitely are not drawn from his own experience at medical school but are merely examples of what the Panopticon app is interested in. 

“Once Panopticon has collected all of your data it will judge your life and your dubious decisions and calculate how many Medicoins you deserve,” he said. 

“Here at Panopticon, our motto is: Once done, always remembered. For now and forever more.”