Healthcare Technology Featured Article

December 01, 2014

6 Ways Technology is Making Your Health Better

Technology and better health are great bedmates, and you might be taking more advantage of this coupling than you think. In fact, there are many ways technology has revolutionized healthcare, self-care, and has helped Americans regain control over their own well-being. It’s a tool set amongst many to help you live longer and better. However, are you making the most of it?

Here are some of the biggest ways technology is changing healthcare for the better. If you’re not tapping into at least a few of these, you’re missing out. Even the government is getting on board, with the Man Up program from the Federal Occupational Health encouraging men (the notorious gender for poor healthcare) to reclaim their wellness.

1. Health-based tech in the home

From CPAP machines and accessories for sleep apnea to the latest no-prick options for testing your blood glucose levels, it’s easier than ever to address your health issues at home. This technology is saving lives, helping you be more comfortable in your own home, and minimizing the amount of doctor appointments you need to make. Saving time and resources commuting to endless appointments is bolstering the environment, too.

2. Keep better track of your fitness

Maybe you have the latest heart rate monitor or you’re shopping for a smartwatch to track calories burned and activities throughout the day. According to PC Mag, there are some fantastic fitness trackers on the market, and they come in prices to fit any budget. Even if you’re not on a hardcore workout regimen, tracking your activity levels is a great way to encourage yourself to take the stairs instead of the elevator or use your break to walk around the block instead of peruse Facebook.

3. Virtual appointments

It’s now possible to schedule a virtual appointment with your therapist, send some GP’s photos of worrisome rashes, and check in quickly to get a re-up of your prescription for that pesky cellulite that keeps popping up. Not only are virtual appointments time savers for everyone, it also helps lower overhead and conserve resources that are otherwise necessary for medical appointments.

4. Home automation for health

There’s a lot more to home automation technology than being able to control the music piped in throughout your house. It can remind you to water the plants (or do it on autopilot) as well as choose optimal HVAC settings to improve your health. Get reminders on when to swap out filters for better respiratory health and make sure electronic devices are turned completely off when not in use (lowering any emissions you may be worried about). If you want to add more automation to your home this year, check out CNET’s guide to the best gadgets.

5. Score some digital support

By linking your activity tracker to social media or brand-specific sites, your friends can cheer you on while you work out or you can get “virtual support” that lets you know when you reached a new PR. However, it’s the linking to other aspects of your life that’s really the game changer. Humans naturally want to brag at times, reel in the compliments and share with others what they’re doing to be healthier. Socialization is often seen as “lost” with technology, but the truth is you can use tech to re-connect.

6. Self-diagnosing is getting better

It’s a stereotype that if you Google symptoms, you’ll always end up with a cancer diagnosis. However, there are many apps and websites which have fine tuned diagnosis tools, but of course it’s still true that only a doctor can offer an expert diagnosis. However, self-education is never a bad thing as long as you don’t take an online suggestion as gospel.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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