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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 May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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