A look at healthcare technology that can make a difference
I use an Apple Watch. I enjoy using it, like how it looks, and benefit from its health features. But do I need it? No, definitely not. It makes it easier to check messages surreptitiously in meetings and lets me know how effective my workout was, but is unlikely to actually save my life.
For this reason, it is easy to get disillusioned with the idea of technology improving your health. After all, it seems like that idea has been a failure so far, or at the very least a qualified success. The biggest health benefits we’ve gotten from home technology is the ability to call an ambulance no matter where you are. Being able to look up symptoms online might also help, if it hasn’t turned you into a hypochondriac.
However, there is actually affordable technology that can improve your health. Here are some of the best examples.
DNA Testing Kits
You may think of ancestry DNA tests as nothing more than a gimmick. But they’re actually an affordable way of taking care of important health matters. Take a look at ancestry DNA kits prices and think about the following. They can let you know about your genetic predisposition to different illnesses.
Not only that, they can also give you insight into other relatives and you can find out health information from them. For example, I learned that a cousin of my father’s had died of liver cancer. My grandmother on my mother’s side also died of liver cancer. I now know to look out for it, and early detection is one of the best predictors of a positive outcome.
Some of the best technology these days is in mental healthcare. Mental health is one of those areas that has been given short shrift in the past. This is due to long-running misunderstandings and taboos. Governments don’t give enough money to the field and people are scared to ask for help for fear of appearing “crazy.”
Now, mental health apps can help you with problems such as depression and anxiety. Mindfulness apps have been shown to have positive effects, and with apps like Headspace becoming more and more popular, people are benefiting from one of the most basic methods of regulating emotion.
Furthermore, there are apps which challenge you to confront your anxieties. They will give you tasks to do, based on your level of anxiety and particular worries. This may be as simple as giving a stranger a compliment, or as complex as asking for a raise or applying for a new job.
There is also a burgeoning market for apps that provide practical guidance for therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). These therapies can be taught in individual and group sessions, and apps can then be used to put the skills into practice. Data goes right back to your therapist, and you can discuss your progress with them without having to spend time filling them in on the details.
Online therapy is also having its time in the sun, making therapy accessible for those who wouldn’t have the time or money or wouldn’t feel comfortable walking into a therapist’s office.
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