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4 Ways Technology is Improving Physical & Mental Health

4 Ways Technology is Improving Physical & Mental Health

As technology continues to develop, we’re becoming more and more aware of what affects our health and how we can stay on top of our own well-being. Medical advances allow us to come back from serious illnesses, and knowledge of the human body helps us stay fit and strong as we age. Technology has always improved our physical and mental health, and the latest advances in medicine and consumer technologies continue to make life better for millions. Whether you’re facing a chronic medical issue or just want to become healthier, these 4 technological advances can help you improve your physical and mental health.

1. Mobile Apps

We’ve come a long way since the old ad “there’s an app for that,” but the phrase has never been more accurate. Medical and fitness mobile apps are constantly popping up for both iPhone and Android users, and they’ve been tailored to meet almost every need. There are diet tracking apps, fitness apps, workout apps, and even apps to help women track their menstrual cycle. As technology becomes even more sophisticated, health apps may one day be able to track health stats like cholesterol levels and heart rate.

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Even today, health apps are helping to keep people healthy and out of the hospital. Apps promote healthy behaviors and engagement in overall health by keeping users accountable and able to see the results of their efforts over time. A recent study at the University of Kentucky Center for Rural Health on 10,000 uninsured patients showed that the cost of healthcare was reduced by 80%, hospitalizations were down 92%, and emergency room visits were down by 87% just by using communication and health apps.[1] The vast majority of app users agree that their devices help them stay healthier—96% said the apps help to improve their lives.[2]

2. Wearable Trackers

Wearable trackers often work with mobile apps to track users’ activity levels and lifestyle, making it easy for users to report data—to themselves and to doctors. Wearables also allow users to customize goals[3] and see historical data about their lifestyle. Most wearables also offer sleep tracking. Some of the most popular wearables brands include:

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  • Fitbit—The most well-known fitness wearable; different versions track steps, allow competition with friends, and keep users in sync with step goals.
  • Garmin—Garmin offers different devices to suit individual needs, from basic activity trackers to high-tech smart watches.
  • Runtastic—A health and fitness partner, some fitness watch options can even be worn in the water while tracking activity!

3. Telemedicine

Getting to the doctor when you’re very sick, live in a rural area, or have an ongoing health issue can be difficult. Telehealth strives to solve many of these problems by offering patients services over live video, email, phone, and wireless tools. Instead of always having to come into the doctor’s office for a consultation, some services can be provided remotely, reducing travel time and healthcare costs. This benefits both healthcare professionals and patients alike. 75.2% of nurses agree that telemedicine makes their jobs easier, and only 16% of patients would go to the ER for minor issues if they could use telemedicine instead. [4] Of course, some diagnostics require in-person examination, but many issues can be resolved with a simple consultation. Telemedicine also make check-in appointments much simpler for everyone involved.

4. Fisher Wallace Stimulator

Mental illness affects overall quality of life in a significant way. People who suffer from problems like depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often have trouble getting relief, with their options for treatment limited. Nearly 50% of people with PTSD are not receiving treatment, affecting their ability to deal with everyday activities and stressful situations.[5]

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The Fisher Wallace Stimulator is a wearable headband that can be used to treat depression, and may be helpful with PTSD as well. The headband uses electric current to stimulate the brain, which can help improve symptoms of depression. For people who do not want to take medication for the condition, these treatments may be an option.

Increased Awareness

All of the tools we have available to us today are helping us to lead happier, healthier lives. A hundred years ago, we often had to guess about what would help increase our well-being. Today, technology can help motivate us, track our progress, diagnose, and treat health problems. This is only the beginning—technology gets smarter all the time, and will continue to help improve our physical and mental health.

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Featured photo credit: Kosal Ley via unsplash.com

Reference

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Last Updated on October 16, 2019

11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

1. ScheduleOnce

    ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

    ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

    ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

    Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

    Available on Web

    2. Calendly

      Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

      You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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      Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

      3. Assistant.to

        For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

        From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

        While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

        Available on Web

        4. Acuityscheduling

          Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

          It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

          Available on Web | iOS | Android

          5. Pick

            Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

            At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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            Available on Web

            6. X.ai

              For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

              This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

              Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

              Available on Web

              7. YouCanBook.me

                is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                Available on Web

                8. Doodle

                  Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                  It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                  You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                  While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                  Available on Web | iOS | Android

                  9. WhenAvailable

                    WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                    Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                    Available on Web

                    10. Rally

                      Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                      Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                      Available on Web

                      11. NeedtoMeet

                        Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                        NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                        While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                        Available on Web

                        Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                        In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                        To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                        Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                        A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                        Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                        If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                        Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                        With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                        The Bottom Line

                        Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                        Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                        Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                        Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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