Technology growth has transformed the world. Now, everyone has a smartphone in their pocket and immediate access to the entirety of human knowledge (and plenty of cute kitten videos as well). However, the widespread adoption of tech into our daily lives has also been blamed for a rise in adverse physical and mental issues. From sleep disruption to a reduction of short-term memory, it’s easy to blame technology. What’s worth remembering is that automation and advanced technologies are also being used to help people with very real issues. These could be the key to more widespread acceptance of the benefits that cutting edge tech is capable of.
The world has come a long way from robotic arms building cars in factories. Robotics are now everywhere, and are being used to help millions of people fight through adversity. One of the most positive uses of robotics is that of aiding those with spinal cord injuries to walk again. Those exoskeletons might have seemed like something out of a sci-fi film just a few years ago, but the latest models are lightweight and practical. They are being used to help people regain their agency after an accident or injury, and the technology is becoming more accessible than ever. Now, even adolescents can use a robotic exoskeleton, and that can help to transform their lives for the better.
If there’s one branch of tech development that has seemingly limitless applications, it’s virtual reality (VR). You might think that VR is nothing more than a new way of playing games for the younger generation, but the health benefits are proving to be very positive for overcoming adversity. Not only can VR be used to help medical professionals with their training (through surgery programs and trauma care in a virtual world), patients are benefitting as well. Work by Oxfordvr.org is showing that challenges like life-affecting phobias can be tackled through the use of immersive VR technology, and the results are very positive indeed. VR can also be used to help calm frightened patients during examinations, or even during surgeries.
While most people have now made use of some form of personal virtual assistant (VA), few people are making the best use of them. Rather than just a convenient way of asking Google a question or booking your next hairdresser appointment, VAs can actually help you overcome mental health issues. As well as the variety of mental health apps, there are now Virtual Assistants designed specifically to help with panic attacks and anxiety. These assistants are now being fully explored, and their impact has yet to be fully realized. As people become more and more reliant on their Virtual Assistant to manage their work schedules or book doctor’s appointments, expect to see more examples of customized assistants designed specifically to help you with your mental health issues.
Technology continues to become more integrated into our daily lives. As healthcare adopts advanced technology on a grand scale, the future of healthcare is looking more effective, accessible, and available than ever before.