Technology has drastically improved the way we live day-to-day. But we often forget how much we rely on these useful gadgets as it’s become the norm. We’re here to explore how, on a small scale, technology allows us to stay healthy & operate in the busy world we live in today.
While there have been extraordinary advancements in technology that has allowed the medical industry to operate and save lives with ease, it has also helped us on a small scale, aiding us in everyday life.
With the ability to connect to a wealth of knowledge and information in just seconds via the World Wide Web, hypochondriacs have been able to casually check WebMD online (although we do not recommend this) every time they get a headache or feel an onslaught of symptoms that make them feel like they’re dying. But really, the internet does enable the vast majority to educate themselves about various conditions and diseases, and better yet, connect with others who relate and are going through similar issues.
Technology has indeed changed our lives for the better and has drastically improved the way we live day-to-day. But we often forget how much we rely on these useful gadgets as it’s become the norm, so we’re here to explore how on a small scale, technology allows us to stay healthy and operate in the busy world we live in today.
Advancement of Wearable Technology
Wearable technology is the term we give devices that we can wear on our body. Usually, these wearable techs are able to track, monitor and analyse our data, translating this into graphs and alerting us if there is anything to be concerned about.
A Fitbit is a wearable wrist device that helps you track your fitness and activity through “photoplethysmography” which is when light measures the blood flow in your wrist. This technology allows Fitbit to measure your heart rate, track sleep schedules and even has the ability to recognise and differentiate different types of exercise you do with its SmartTrack feature without you logging it in yourself!
While the Fitbit focuses solely on fitness, health and motivating you to reach your goals, the Apple Watch has undeniably changed the game and gone one step further. With cool features like a touch screen user face, the ability to accept calls, read messages and an endless list of other abilities, this device does much more than tell the time. Arguably, the most advanced updates in the latest Apple Watch Series 4 range is the fact that it “detects unusually high or low heart rates [and] alerts you – even when you don’t feel symptoms”. Imagine how many lives innovative products like this has saved so far? Isn’t technology amazing?
The Apple Watch Series 4 webpage, for example, has six tabs – Overview, Design, Health, Workout, Activity, Connect. With three of the six sections relating to wellbeing, it’s clear to see their focus is geared towards the body, tracking its performance and helping you optimise your workouts, diet and anything else related to keeping active.
Besides the health tracker already inbuilt into the Apple Watch, here are plenty of apps that you can install to further track your activity, workout or give you timed notifications to drink water and get up when you’re inactive for a period of time.
But if fitness isn’t your priority, the Apple Watch also includes “The Breathe app” which can help people unwind, relax and take their mind off daily stressors, because mental health is just as important as physical! The app can help you focus, calm yourself or just practice mindfulness.
Bonus: You can also use your Apple Watch to pay for things with Apple Pay. Simply hold your Apple Watch near a contactless reader and spend away!
Apps – to record data and track your calories etc
Following a healthy lifestyle has been at the forefront of wellbeing in the 21st Century. The rise of vegetarianism, veganism and any and every other lifestyle choice that ends with -ism has encouraged people to be more aware and conscious of their decisions, especially regarding the food they intake.
With the proliferation of wholefood stores and various types of milk that are now available on shelves in virtually all supermarkets, people nomindfulnessw have the option to be more mindful about what they are putting into their bodies and select items which are less processed or have certain nutritional values.
Technology has enabled developers to create food, water and sleep – basically whatever else you can think of – tracking apps which help individuals keep an eye on what they are consuming or doing. The purpose of these apps varies between what the individual wants to track however many people use apps to track their food consumption, namely, their calorie intake.
My Fitness Pal is an extremely popular app that people use to track what they have for breakfast, lunch, dinner, any snacks or drinks, and activity they expend throughout the day. When you log your meal, you are able to pre-select meals that have been already uploaded from other people all around the world, or you are able to manually record the calorie content yourself. As you log more meals throughout the day, it automatically calculates the calories you have eaten and how much you might need to eat more or exercise in case you’ve eaten too much.
Back in the day, a skipped period was the easiest way to figure out whether or not there was a bun in the oven. Nowadays, pregnancy tests can determine when, and we mean as little as 1-2 weeks, you successfully conceived which sounds crazy, but yes, welcome to the 21st Century. The development in these indicator tests allows couples to find out whether or not they are pregnant, to start planning for their new addition or to keep trying in case the results come back negative.
While there are simple pregnancy tests which can notify you how many weeks pregnant you are, there are brands like Clear Blue that offer Advanced Digital Ovulation Tests. Sounds very technical we know. Basically, it tests for estrogen and Luteinizing hormone (LH), both of which let you know the most advantageous period to try and conceive. The video below shows you how to use this product:
Temperature Checkers to Test for Fevers
Having a thermometer might not spring to mind when you think about technology. It’s possible you’ve survived this long by just using your hands to feel your forehead or asking someone nearby to check your temperature by doing the same. However, especially for infants, it’s a device that can ultimately save a life. While the good ol’ glass and mercury thermometers may have done the trick in the past, digital thermometers and electronic ear thermometers are the new, and rapidly convenient, norm helping us determine whether or not we’re overreacting and actually might need to head to the hospital…
People with type 2 diabetes usually need to keep track of their blood sugar levels with a blood glucose monitor. These devices include a lancet (a pricking tool essentially), testing strip and a meter.
The meter helps you track when your blood sugar is low, high or regular by displaying a number which can help you see what your glucose level is so you can take further action from there. As the numbers depend on each individual, it is important to consult a doctor when using this device to manage your diabetes.
While the internet is a great source of information when it comes to health, nutrition and academic articles, one of the most underrated forms of knowledge are from other people! The internet has enabled parents, individuals and groups to share their experiences to help others with their health concerns. There are multiple forums connecting people, who suffer from diseases or conditions such as acne, to others who have ‘sworn-by’ tips and ‘holy-grail’ items which have worked wonders on their skin, ultimately increasing their confidence. Other groups might support those with mental health issues who need someone to talk to or to read about similar experiences. But these are just some of the many examples that highlight the power of the internet and how easy it makes info and support accessible for those seeking help relating to their health.
Technology and health are becoming increasingly intrinsic as there are constantly new advancements and updates that help us operate and function at higher levels. What we do know, is that technology has saved a lot of lives already, helps us manage day-to-day tasks and do simple things like track our steps. But as for the future… I guess we’ll have to wait and see.