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CES Feature Articles

January 07, 2014

Do You Want to Share Your Family's Toothbrush Data with the Dentist?

There have been a great number of important inventions over the years: the wheel, sliced bread, and now, finally, the world’s first connected electric toothbrush. Kolibree’s smart toothbrush, which debuted at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES (News - Alert)) in Las Vegas this week, allows users to download a free mobile app, connect their toothbrush via Bluetooth and record each brushing session. Your smartphone will be able to tell you whether you brushed long enough, as well as if your brushing was adequate enough to find hard-to-reach places in the mouth.

Image via Shutterstock

One of the initial, Orwellian suspicions about such a product is the question of whether or not dentists would be able to use this data to charge more or less money for patients. While everyone certainly lies about whether or not they’ve brushed, dentists have been heretofore unable to prove that said patient was being untruthful. In order to lower overall costs on dentistry, and ensure that insurance companies don’t pay out more than is necessary, dentists could be able to charge those with impressive toothbrush data less money and those who barely ever brush their teeth the full price (or even more).

Paranoid fantasies about the potential for data corruption (further spurred by the efforts of Edward Snowden and the U.S. government’s desire to silence him) aside, the Kolibree connected toothbrush and mobile app further allows for monitoring and scoring stats that can be shared with dentists and family members, or simply can be chosen to be kept private (for now).

Edited by Blaise McNamee

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