Technology has transformed every aspect of our lives, but while we’re all tapping away at the games on our smartphones or developing an online dating profile, many of us are overlooking the many ways technology is contributing to improved mental and physical health. That’s not to say we’re not adopting these tools, but many of us do so passively, failing to recognize their revolutionary potential.
It’s time we pay attention to the many new tools improving our health today. Here are 3 innovations that are contributing to greater wellness.
Opening Lines Of Communication
For hundreds of years, many people with disabilities were viewed as completely non-communicative because they couldn’t use spoken language – and in many cases, people continue to think this way about people with autism and other conditions today. However, augmentative and alternative communication devices (AAC) are changing this perception and allowing those with speech-limiting disabilities to communicate fully for the first time.
Tablets in particular have revolutionized AAC because in the past users had to spell out everything on a letter board or carry picture cards representing all available words in order to speak. Now, many these programs can be loaded onto a tablet which not only offers the necessary vocabulary and can offer far more words, but can also generate a computerized voice to speak for those with disabilities.
Wearables At The Ready
Staying active is an important part of overall health, but many people don’t get as much activity as they need. Wearables like the Fitbit or Garmin activity trackers, however, are helping us to be more mindful of our fitness routines by tracking our steps, monitoring how many calories we burn, and even registering how well we sleep at night.
Another part of what makes wearables so great is that they incentivize activity by lighting up or vibrating when you’ve reached your goal or by allowing you to tackle activity challenges with your friends. For those who’ve historically struggled to find the motivation to exercise, wearables are often the perfect solution.
Seeking Support Near And Far
For people dealing with a chronic illness, fatigue, pain, and other symptoms can rapidly become isolating, causing us to feel separated from family and friends. Online, however, it’s much easier to reach out to others who share the same experience, and numerous message boards have popped up allowing people to build new friendships and share advice. When doctors fail to come up with helpful solutions, others with the same condition may also have ideas to share.
Online communities are also valuable because those who are too unwell to participate in real-time support groups can add their voices to message boards whenever they’re feeling well enough; they aren’t bound by traditional meeting times or inaccessible spaces.
Managing our health is an important part of our daily lives, whether we face a chronic condition, a temporary illness or injury, or just the usual challenges involved with maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen – which is why we should all be taking advantage of the many new technologies designed to improve our health. These tools are there to help us lead more satisfying lives; it’s time to embrace their promise.