Technology makes it better
“Technology” is a ridiculously obese term, applicable to anything and near everything synthetic, from any time, whether real or conceptual. Sometimes, it can be useful for patients and doctors to exploit it. And sometimes, we depend on it so much that when we find ourselves without it, we are crippled. Do we really need it all?
Forget fancy radiological devices, Twitter, remote robotic surgeries, nanotechnology drug-delivery systems, Electronic Medical Records, or even schemes to improve determinants of health on a community-wide level.
Something as simple as a checklist can transform intensive care (and beyond); see Atul Gawande’s article in the New Yorker for more on this. There are many innovations available to physicians, enabling them to provide safe and efficient care, but patients can be empowered too.
What are some manageable things YOU can do for your health with technology?
- Keep accurate medical and personal records; if you want to, follow this Instructable about putting such records on a USB thumb drive [via Life Hacker]
- Use a free, online fitness and nutrition helper, such as Fitday.com to help urge you along
- Check out PC Magazine’s weird and wonderful health gadgets
- Encourage your quitting-smoking progress with a metre showing how many cigarettes you haven’t smoked, and how much money it’s saved you
- Wear a pedometer
- Keep your iPod volume at a reasonable level, and protect your hearing
- Use an ergonomic keyboard, and sit properly at your workstation; make sure you are doing it right
- Try something like the Wii FIT if you just can’t get motivated otherwise
- Track your fitness using software on your iPhone
- Ask your doctor to give you some ideas about credible online sources to learn more about your medical condition, eg. PsychCentral*, or use something like Wikipedia or WebMD**, never forgetting to read with a grain of salt!
- Check out which seafood is low in mercury, high in Fatty Acids, and ecologically sound
- if you travel to an area where the water might be full of bacteria and parasites, use a portable water filtration system or purification tablets
- search for online support groups, such as those indexed by the Association of Cancer Online Resources
What about some things you can do for the health of your technology?
- The Globe and Mail has a great list of lo-tech fixes for high-tech problems
- And what you can do when it’s time to retire that gadget