Historians have a way of naming entire epochs of history so, in the same way we now refer to 500 AD to 1500 AD as The Dark Ages, the world we live in now will surely be known as The Tech Age for the rest of time. The way it has influenced and affected every aspect of our lives is nothing short of phenomenal, and none more so than the area of health and well-being.
Technology grows more and more every minute, and with it so does our understanding of what affects our health and how we can stay on top of our well-being. There is nothing more important than that because how we overcome mental health issues, bounce back from serious injury and keep ourselves -the human body – fit and health is the highest priority.
Even during the earliest moments of technology, there have been people that have sought ways to make it applicable to physical and mental health – something that has continued ever since. In fact, we are now at a time where the latest advancements make the lives of millions and millions immeasurably better.
It doesn’t matter whether you are battling with a chronic pain, a chronic illness, a severe medical issue, or just want to commit to that New Year’s resolution in 1997 to become fitter and healthier, the advancements in technology we are going to discuss below have been proved to improve our physical and mental health.
The Future Is Here
Gene editing used to be a term that was thrown around in sci-fi films when the director wanted to blow the minds of his or her audience, describing the future in ways that were so far off they were barely believable. However, gene editing is now a thing and it has the potential to transform the lives of everyone and everything on the planet. Of course, there are many different ways in which gene editing is being used to improve physical health. There are some that are using it to create improved preclinical models, in which you should visit HeraBioLabs.com to learn more about what is being achieved on this front. Others are focusing on how to recognise and kill cancer cells by boosting the body’s ability to produce T cells, while there is research being done into the gene-editing of embryos, although no scientist is suggesting this yet. Science has come a long way on a lot of fronts, but the headway into the side of things really could be massive.
Smartphones And Smarter Apps
This may not be anywhere as scientifically impressive as gene-editing, but the rise in health, fitness and medical apps is one we cannot ignore, not least because these apps have been tailored to almost every need. Whether you want to go on a diet that suits your lifestyle, improve your cardiovascular system, track your menstrual cycle or just get more impressive abs, there is an app out there meaning you can be better educated by simply reaching into your pocket. Like we said, it isn’t gene editing, but it is a whole new level of accessibility and that is as important as anything else when it comes to our health. The journey of the app is just starting, so who knows how sophisticated it will get, but perhaps heart rate and cholesterol will soon be tracked as well. Forgetting the future for a second, though, and just focussing on what apps have already achieved; they have promoted healthy lifestyles and behaviours and motivated people into staying healthy by holding them accountable. To give you a more tangible account of the success at this level, a recent study on uninsured patients showed that hospital visits were down by 90%, emergency room visits had been slashed by 87% and the cost of healthcare, in general, has fallen by 81% – all as a result of health apps and the improved communication they offer.
Helping Patients Remotely
For some, the very idea of having your health issues solved over Skype is not an option. But for some, telemedicine is their only option and it is proving to be remarkably successful. These are people that live in rural areas and people that are far too unwell to travel to the doctor in person. Instead, they get seen by professionals through live streaming, phone calls, emailing and other wireless tools. Not only does this help some patients with their accessibility woes, it also reduces the cost of healthcare and eliminates the travel time required, all of which benefits both sides of the coin – the healthcare services and the patients. That isn’t us making that up. That is us relaying the fact that 76% of nurses have stated that telemedicine has made their jobs easier, while just 18% of patients would head to the ER for less severe issues if they could be seen remotely. Now, this does not cure all the issues out there. Not by a long shot. But for a lot of issues, a simple consultation is all that is needed, allowing vital resources to be freed-up.
The Matter Of Mental Health
It is a topic that is finally getting the recognition it deserves because mental health has a way of affecting people’s quality of life in a huge way without there being much in the way of help or cure. Depression, bipolar, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder – these are all problems where relief is lacking. In fact, over half of people with PTSD do not receive any form of treatment, which means they are unable to go about living a normal life; they are unable to deal with the stress of everyday life. Until now. The Fisher Wallace Stimulator is essentially a headband that is being used to treat all kinds of depression, bipolar, insomnia and PTSD by using electronic signals to stimulate the brain. If you want to, you can read more about this complex bit of kit at fisherwallace.com, but the reason why this is so important is simple: not everyone with mental health issues is confident taking medicine, usually because of past experiences. This form of treatment at least gives them an option and a chance to recover.