Tag Archives: technology

Seriously, stop using your smartphone in bed

ID-10072070Insomnia is becoming increasingly prevalent in this age of technology. Multiple studies have shown this, with the latest survey done with 9,846 teenagers aged 16 to 19 in Norway. The teens recorded their sleep patterns as well as their technology usage throughout the day, with a focus on the hour before bedtime. Researchers found what they call a “dose-response relationship” — the more you dose yourself with devices, the higher your risk of sleeplessness. A multiple number of reasons can be attributed to this. First, the blue light that comes from all LED screens, which has been found to interfere with production of the sleep hormone melatonin in the brain. Second, the hunched-over posture that tends to come with screen usage can lead to headaches and muscular pain. It is also possible that the electromagnetic radiation coming from cell phones can keep us from getting a good nights sleep. Researchers say the ideal activity to partake in before going to bed is reading a slow-paced book to help the mind and body relax and drift off to sleep. What are your tips for diminishing the use of devices before bed? What do you typically recommend to teenagers?

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Fitness apps lack evidence-based tools

ID-100132827A new study shows smartphone fitness apps aren’t always effective in helping people stay healthy. More than half of American adults own smartphones – and half of those owners use some type of fitness app, explains David Conroy, the study’s lead researcher from Northwestern University in Chicago. Unfortunately, a vast number of them have no research defending their effectiveness. In November 2013, Conroy and colleagues identified the 100 top-selling health and fitness apps in the Apple iTunes and Google Play marketplaces. Researchers looked for any of 93 possible behavior-changing techniques and found only an average of 7 techniques per app. The study shows that social media integration is pervasive, Conroy said, even though there is only limited research showing social media can positively affect behavior. “A lot of these apps, it turns out, are kind of hollow,” he said, adding they look nice and have many features, but no techniques to motivate people who are not currently active. What do you think of fitness apps? Do youfavorite ones that truly help you to stay active?

 

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Image courtesy of [Sura Nualpradid]/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Filling forms at the doctor’s office just got fun

ID-10037834At Georgetown University Hospital  a current method of collecting data from patients is a laborious 75 question form.  The director of biomedical informatics, Subha Madhavan, is collaborating with the hospital clinics to create an iPad app that will make the intake process less of a hassle for the patients.  The app, called Tonic Health, uses colorful graphics and interactive features to assist patients with imputing their information.  Tonic Health is also user friendly, skipping sections that do not need to be filled out and offering educational pop-ups with medical terminology.  With the explosion of health-related apps, which ones have you downloaded recently?

 

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