Gadgets

How Smartphones Affect Our Bodies: The Good, the Bad, and the Radiation

31. Smartphones Can Cause Anxiety Studies have shown that the more people use Facebook, the more their well-being declined. Using social media, especially on your smartphone,… Trista - September 1, 2019
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31. Smartphones Can Cause Anxiety

Studies have shown that the more people use Facebook, the more their well-being declined. Using social media, especially on your smartphone, can lead to anxiety and depression. The FOMO, or fear of missing out, trend leads many to believe that their lives aren’t good enough compared to what they see online.

Smartphone use can evolve into a full-blown addiction. Known as “nomophobia,” the fear of being without a mobile phone is genuine and can damage a lot of people’s well-being. The stress of being away from an online world of social media, games, and internet friends can cause anxiety levels to rise. If you feel like your smartphone use has increased your anxiety, speak to a mental health professional.

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32. Smartphones and Healthcare

Even though smartphones can be seen as addictive and problematic, advanced technology has been used in health care settings. Smartphones and tablets are increasingly being used in hospitals and doctors offices. Research shows that in the United States, smartphone ownership among health care professionals is roughly 91 percent.

Mobile devices are great for communicating with patients and examining them from different rooms. They make it easy for doctors to share data and quickly reply to patients via email. Doctors can reach out to other health care professionals in different buildings or even different cities for a consultation.

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33. Using Smartphones for Diagnosing and Treating Medical Conditions

Smartphones and tablets can be used for checking vital signs and diagnosing conditions. Many devices can be outfitted with weight scales, pulse oximeters, and blood pressure cuffs, making it easy to track data. These tools are especially great for home health care nurses and doctors. By making the process of taking vitals easier, it gives nurses and doctors more time to focus on their patients.

Many medical devices connect with smartphone apps to track their health. There are sleep apnea machines, blood sugar trackers, and more tools that work seamlessly with smartphone technology. Additionally, these apps and devices make it easy for you to send medical information to your doctor.

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34. Detecting HIV

You may not realize it, but your smartphone could be used to detect serious diseases. HIV/AIDS affects more than 37 million people around the world. Early diagnosis of this disease can save lives, as access to antiretroviral medication can add ten years to someone’s life expectancy.

Researchers from the University of London have developed a disposable sensor that plugs into smartphones. This sensor holds particles that react to HIV. Within ten seconds of adding blood from a patient into the sensor’s channels, HIV can be detected. Results will be uploaded into a smartphone app and sent to a patient’s doctor.

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35. Diagnosing Malaria

Malaria is a life-threatening disease that can be hard to diagnose correctly. Many times health care workers in countries where malaria isn’t common won’t think to test for it. Additionally, they may not have enough experience to be able to make an accurate diagnosis.

A device created by researchers in the Netherlands utilizes a smartphone’s camera. A tiny glass ball is placed on the camera lens of a smartphone to transform it into a microscope by increasing the view over eight times. By being able to zoom in on a blood sample further, doctors can detect malaria, which shows up as a dark spot contained by a lighter ring.

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36. Identifying Parkinson’s Disease

Neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and ALS affect many people around the world. Over 10 million people live with Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s affects the nervous system and causes rigid limbs, slow movement, and muscle tremors.

Parkinson’s is most often identified after it has progressed. In Greece, researchers have created an app that works with fitness bands, smartwatches, and smartphones. This app tracks numerous biological clues that could indicate the beginning stages of Parkinson’s disease. Also, this app provides games to help improve a patient’s physical and emotional state as well as diet. Thanks to artificial intelligence present in smartphones, we may be able to identify the onset of several diseases.

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37. Eliminating Respiratory Disease

The World Health Organization has determined that one of the top causes of death for children around the world is a respiratory disease. This condition is caused by a wide variety of things, including genetics, environment, and pollution.

Physicians from Massachusetts General Hospital have developed a smartphone app designed to identify acute respiratory disease in children. This app works by analyzing how a child’s cough sounds. Experts believe that the app, called ResAppDx, may be able to replace CT scans, X-rays, blood and sputum tests, and spirometry. This innovative smartphone app is currently going through clinical trials to test its effectiveness and get it ready for mainstream usage.

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38. Measuring Blood Flow

When a patient is getting ready for a serious procedure like dialysis, bypass surgery, or a coronary angiogram, doctors must test how well blood flows through their arteries. This is commonly done using the Allen Test. With the Allen Test, the doctor will press two spots on the wrist to stop blood flow for a few seconds. After the pressure is released, they then monitor to see how long it takes to return color to the area.

A study found that a free smartphone app called Instant Heart Rate is more accurate at analyzing blood flow than the Allen Test. Using a smartphone’s camera lens and light, the app tracks the light reflection from a person’s finger. It also examines changes in color or brightness that indicate changes in pulse.

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39. Eye Exams

Going to the eye doctor can be a hassle. You’ve got to complete several stages of an exam, take a few tests, and then go through the process of choosing a pair of glasses. Thanks to smartphones, the process has gotten much more accessible.

Many companies in the United States offer online eye exams that utilize a computer or phone camera. The smartphone camera can figure out the right prescription, identify astigmatisms and colorblindness, as well as test light sensitivity. These tests are ideal for people between the ages of 18 and 39 looking to update their prescription. They don’t usually work for diagnosing cataracts or glaucoma.

Credit: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

40. Preventing Suicide

The tenth leading cause of death in the world is suicide. Research shows that suicide is happening more and more each year. There are ways to determine who may be at risk of contemplating suicide, but it’s nearly impossible to pinpoint when someone attempts it. Research teams and Vanderbilt University and Harvard University are looking into ways that smartphones can help to identify risk factors for suicide and offer ways to step in to stop it.

In their studies, they are monitoring people who have a high risk of attempting suicide. They are asked to wear sensors to track activity and sleep levels as well as answer text messages sent to them throughout the day. The idea is that smartphone technology will be able to see patterns that humans are unable to. Then scientists can create programs designed to flag people who are at immediate risk of attempting suicide so they can get help.

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