We live in a world that is increasingly evolving its technology. In almost every sector, we have come on in leaps and bounds and it’s no different for the healthcare sector. Technology in medicine is advancing at a rapid rate, from hearts that beat independently in boxes while waiting to be transplanted, to wearable tech that keeps us warm on a run. Technology is infiltrating every area of life, and while some are amazing pieces of kit that can absolutely change your life, there are others that – while exciting to look at – could affect your health. Adults clock up as much as eight hours a day staring at screens, and most adults can’t even manage to head to bed in the evening without bringing their smartphones with them to keep an eye on the local news or head onto social media when they should be winding down for sleep. Blue light technology is not always a good thing when it comes to our health; it can interfere with our sleep patterns and suppresses melatonin, which is the hormone you need for falling asleep – not a good way to start each day!
It’s important to understand which gadgets can help and which gadgets can hurt before you purchase. Some of these gadgets can enable a patient to manage a condition which is lifelong and chronic. Others can assist doctors in surgery and are designed purely for maximum medical efficiency but minimal scarring and pain. Then there are those that you could use in your personal life which can be a hindrance as well as a help. The computer revolution has created a world of automation but being constantly ‘on’ and plugged in can be bad for your health. If you aren’t sure how technology can both help your health and also hurt it, you’ll want to have a look at some of the gadgets on the market today and also some of the ways that your tech could be harming your health. So, let’s check out those gadgets first!
Heart Rate Trackers
There are many on the market, from the mighty Fitbit and Activite Pop by the French company, Withings, but heart rate trackers are all the rage. Some wrap around the wrist, others clip to the waistband of your jeans. They count your steps, make note of your calorie burn and they measure your heart rate throughout the day. They’ve been made touchscreen, sleek and stylish and you can even switch out the straps to match your outfits. But while fitness trackers and the apps that accompany them have been made to encourage you to workout, you can get a little thing called ‘laptop laziness’. Constantly relying on technology to give you a pat on the back while you run is a problem, especially as you will be using your laptop to check your progress.
Electric shavers have been all the rage for the last twenty years, but if you look at any catalogue, we’ve gone from the electric shavers to laser machinery you can have in the home. While we are on the subject of personal care, technology has crept into the addiction column of this story, with vape gadgets and fluid from ecigwizard.com taking over the old nicotine patches and hypnotherapy that used to help people to give up their smoking addictions. This is probably the best idea for health technology, as it’s designed to help and not to hinder. Tooth whitening gadget, GLO Brilliant Teeth Whitening Device is taking centre stage with the health tech industry in personal care, because of the ability to use it at home and on the go to give your teeth a brighter look. You can use it in small bursts to get the whiter teeth that you’ve always wanted.
Technology can be a rather large pain in the neck. Tech strain – also known as bowed neck – happens because we spend time with our heads bent over small screens instead of looking at screens at eye level. However, with technology like The Instant Hot Or Cold Pain Relief Wand, you can balance your neck and backache and make life easier. We’ve moved on a little from hot water bottles and ice packs, and it uses hot and cold therapies to ease pain, soothe sore muscles and stimulate the circulation to the painful area.
Alarmingly, 1 in 3 American adults suffer from high blood pressure. Whether this is due to highly pressurised jobs, the societal pressures on us to achieve, achieve, achieve, and even the high levels of fat in the food that we eat, high blood pressure is on the rise: no pun intended. Thankfully, Nokia have created the Nokia BPM+, an on the go blood pressure cuff that will monitor your pressure wherever you are. You can synchronize it with your Bluetooth settings on your smartphone and link it to another app. This way, you can watch your blood pressure at home and not have to set up a doctor’s appointment every time you get concerned. It’s elegant, minimalist and the technology itself is truly innovative. It gives you a chance to control your own health. The only worry here is that it could get quite addictive to check on your health constantly!
There was a time that muscle memory meant touch typing and writing, but now all we have to is tap away to get out those all-important emails. Did you know, though, that using technology can technically dumb down your skills? Well, if you are constantly using smartphones and touch screens, you’re going to forget how to do those basic things that you learned as a child. Map reading is dying out in favour of GPS and sat nav gadgets. Whatever we do, we are taking away from our own skills to make life a little easier. The question is when it stops?
This is obviously under pain relief, but if you can lessen the pain of childbirth, it deserves its own category! Pregnancy and labour have never been the easiest thing to go through, but without gas or an epidural, most women opt for pain relief via a TENS machine. Small currents are sent through the muscles in the lower back to ease the pain of contractions and it is health tech like this that is changing the world for a woman! Being able to use electricity to target pain is an amazing revolution when the pain of childbirth is the question. When science is able to reduce pain with a simple gadget, you know the world is coming on in leaps and bounds.
Automation is changing the world from businesses to the healthcare industry and everyone is excited. Progress should never be prohibited, but it should be practised carefully. There’s nothing wrong with the technological world speeding forward, as long as it’s good for you. People need to keep hold of their basic skills while still appreciating the beauty of tracking their own sleep on a heart rate monitor watch. Health technology has its good points and its bad points; it’s all a matter of perception and use. If you are using health technology to keep your health in control or combat an addiction or reduce pain, then it’s a good thing. If your technology and gadgets are keeping you up at night or stressing you out to the point of obsession, then it’s clearly a bad thing. Everything in moderation keeps you in check!