There are certainly no shortage of articles, surveys and study pieces out there telling us how bad technology is for us. While it’s true that there are some downsides to incorporating too much tech into our lives, there’s a whole other side of the coin to consider. In fact, recent advances in things like applications, wearables and artificial intelligence are actually producing a number of positive health benefits. Let’s take a look at five ways tech is changing our lives for the better.
It inspires us to move more.
Before wearable fitness trackers, knowing exactly how many steps you take in a day was nearly impossible. Having access to this information is proving to be quite a motivator. For instance, setting (and reaching) a target of 10,000 steps in a day is now entirely doable. In fact, for the one in six people who now own wearable tech, it’s a daily reality. As a result, people are becoming more active than they once were. Even businesses are getting in on the action, offering free or discounted fitness trackers and incentives for reaching specified goals in exchange for lowered insurance costs. It’s a win-win!
It keeps us calmer.
Stress and anxiety are more than just an annoyance. They can negatively impact our health and wellbeing, leading to serious medical conditions and other complications. Technologists are working on developing wearables that are capable of detecting things like stress levels, heart rate and fatigue. By catching these things early, we will be able to respond faster and more effectively. For instance, avoiding a potential anxiety attack is a much better alternative to dealing with one once it’s occurring.
It’s facilitating better, more personalized patient care.
Artificial intelligence is now being used in the health care industry to harness the power of Big Data. Information is being extracted, organized and analyzed to help health care providers predict things like disease risk and even potential hospital stays. As the quality of health care continues to improve, individuals who might have otherwise put off visiting the doctor may now find it easier and more convenient. This provides the opportunity for better health management and preventative care.
It assists the body to function better.
Technology has been used in medicine for decades now. Just take the pacemaker, for example. But recent and ongoing advances will continue to improve how people and tech interact together, with things like artificial organs being introduced with surprising success. There’s even a smart contact lens, which can measure a diabetic patient’s blood sugar levels by monitoring their tears. For opportunities in this area, it seems the sky is the limit.
It helps us eat better.
Advances in nutrition science, coupled with the innovative technologies available today, are making it much easier and painless to watch what we eat. From saliva-based genetic testing to determine the best diet to smart applications that do everything from tracking fat and calorie intake to helping us overcome our individual nutritional shortcomings, maintaining a healthy, balanced diet has never been easier.
While there are certainly plenty of valid arguments for why technology may have some negative effects on us, the right balance can actually improve the length and quality of our lives.
How has technology affected your health and wellness? How do you think that will change in the future? Please share in the comments below!