Common sense on how to reduce our addiction to connectivity. Quote:
The book’s chapters focus on mental health challenges linked to heavy technology use. They include how social media sites may spawn narcissism (no surprise there) and how constantly checking our wireless mobile devices (he calls them W.M.D.’s, a great acronym) can lead to obsessive-compulsive disorder. Others look at how technology addiction can lead to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and at how all that medical data available online has created a class of people known as “cyberchondriacs.” Perhaps most interesting of all, Dr. Rosen examines how the constant use of technology may be rewiring our brains. One study he cites calls the impact on memory the “Google effect,” that is, an inability to remember facts brought on by the realization that they are all available in a few keystrokes via Google.
… One often-suggested solution is to take a “tech break.” In other words, if overusing your iPad is making you crazy, maybe you should stop using it so much. I know: duh. But still.
For those combating some form of techno-addiction, Dr. Rosen advises regularly stepping away from the computer for a few minutes and connecting with nature; just standing in your driveway and staring at the bushes, research shows, has a way of resetting our brains.
In ‘iDisorder,’ a Look at Mobile-Device Addiction – Review – NYTimes.com.
An example of how one person migrated from a heavy file binder to using the iPad for keeping her file and managing her care. Surprised that she encountered as much resistance with her medical team, my team did not have any issues with my being informed and engaged.
iPad helps IT consultant-turned-cancer patient seize control of her care | mobihealthnews.
More on how mobile apps may affect medicine. This post notes the limits:
- The adoption of mHealth apps will never reach 100%
- Mobile health apps were never designed to replace doctors
- Mobile health apps provide data, not care
- All patients are not the same
- Personalized medicine does not imply the patient becomes the doctor
All valid points. One of the things I have learned from my medical team is that some are using the Internet excessively, and thinking they are becoming medical professionals, rather than using it to become more informed and empowered patients. One used the analogy that just because we played Flight Simulator (showing my age), doesn’t mean we challenge the pilot when taking our next flight.
I expect with mobile apps, there will be a range of how people use them, with the inevitable tensions that may create with their medical teams for some.
Could mobile apps replace doctors?.
While I have not encountered resistance from my medical team or family doctor, expect it depends more on how one works with one’s medical team, rather than the technology itself. Some interesting findings:
- Health administrators and payers are more encouraging of mobile health solutions – 40% approve of such technologies compared to just 25% of doctors.
- Two thirds of people who use health and fitness apps discontinue their use after six months (or earlier). Comment: no different from health club memberships and other exercise resolutions.
- Roughly half the population expect mobile health options will improve the convenience (46%), cost (52%) and quality (48%) of healthcare.
- Nearly half of those surveyed expect mobile apps will change the way they manage chronic conditions (48%), medications (48%) and overall health (49%).
- 60% of consumers believe doctors are not as interested in mobile health options as patients and technology companies.
Why Your Doctor Doesn’t Want You Using iPhone And iPad Health Apps | Cult of Mac.
A useful list, some for medical professionals, some for patients and their families. Ironically, bad web design: one has to click to go to each app rather than just having continuous scroll. A worst practice, but the picks, including also runs, are good.
Top 10 free iPad Medical Apps for healthcare providers.
Some market research on what people are looking for in mobile apps – and what they are not. Examples:
- Type 1 diabetics are open to apps that help them manage their condition but Type 2 (due to obesity) ‘don’t want to consult their phone to choose what to eat from the manu’ (even if they should).
- Younger people are more open to apps that help healthier lifestyle choices
- Apps that remind people to take their meds were not wanted. (funny, for me, with meds that do not follow a daily schedule, this is useful).
Not sure I disagree with his conclusion that the future is not with the smartphone but rather dedicated healthcare devices. My sense is that while there will always be a market for dedicated devices, the smartphone will be the hub, with various accessories (like the Withings blood pressure monitor I use and related app) as needed.
Mobile health apps don’t always follow conventional wisdom.
Neat app. Better than the 1 to 10 scale I am always asked so maybe there is also a market for an adult version.
And hopefully not just free in the U.S. but everywhere.
iPhone Game Tracks Cancer Patient Pain | Adweek.
For those interested in healthcare apps, a good overview piece. Three trends:
- Personal data tracking (or ‘quantified selfers’, the data obsessed who track everything about their body – I am more sceptical on the general population level)
- Online Appointments (I wish)
- Physician tools on the iPad (some interesting applications at the individual and hospital level)
A New World of Healthcare Apps on Executive Insight.
A balanced article on the potential for using data (the ‘quantified self’) to improve health and health outcomes, with the reminder that while technology can help, it is the individual’s decision and ability to change behaviour that is critical.
I practice elements of this (daily blood pressure and weight, graphing of blood counts after tests) but the general common sense approach of exercise and diet are largely adequate. The data obsessed may wish to go further – and some of the examples listed are relevant – but not sure how more data will change most people’s behaviour.
After all, we have had bathroom scales for more than a generation, and yet obesity is at epidemic levels.
Is the quantified self movement the future of American health?.