The opportunities could be just as interesting for the private insurance business -- if not just as obvious. Just yesterday, in a conversation with a financial advisor, I learned of health care services offered by his insurance company -- both supplemental and alternative to what the state offers (not primary health care services). Since welfare states cannot match the service levels needed by a demanding population, there is a huge business opportunity for health care insurance. I guess, expecting some tax reform, in light of this competition, is wishful thinking :-)
PS! The shirt is not a new invention, this technology has been around for some time (for eg Lifeshirt from Vivometrics has served special groups of users). However, what makes it interesting now is to see this technology in the context of recent moves by Microsoft (HealthVault) and Google Health.
So what is new? Could the public and private sectors in welfare states collaborate to benefit from these innovations? The emergence of the multi-polar world and this huge marketplace in India, China, Brazil & Russia should create a solid business case for the export of lifestyle and welfare services. The public sector can then offer better services to their local populations.... they could actually be the test-bed for the next generation of lifestyle services?