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

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… Trista - September 1, 2019
Credit: NPR

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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