Self-Care: Using technology to get, and stay, healthy
Awareness of the importance of self-care has grown massively in recent years as an increasing number of people have switched onto the benefits of looking after themselves properly.
According to the World Health Organization, self-care is ‘the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a health-care provider’.
Many people practice elements of self-care on a daily basis, undertaking exercise, eating healthy foods or making sure that they get enough rest.
However, while incorporating these healthy habits each day is clearly beneficial, they may still not prevent people from needing extra support to get, and stay, healthy both physically and mentally.
Read on as we look at ways that technology can be used as a mode of self-care to help people live a happy and healthy life.
Dedner eager improve quality of life through tech
People who suffer with anxiety and depression often find it extremely difficult to seek help from friends, family or health professionals.
Mental health organisations strongly advise that sufferers share their feelings with others, but the reality often isn’t that easy for the people affected.
However, there are now many excellent tech-based support services available which are having a positive impact in mental health.
Mental Health Advocate, Kevin Dedner, has set up Henry Health, a unique online platform that provides self-care support and mental health services to black men.
Adult black males are 20% more likely to experience mental health issues compared to the general population, and Dedner is keen to use technology significantly reduce that number.
“Henry Health dares to believe that we can convince black men that seeking help is not a weakness but rather a sign of strength,” he said. “And, when we do this, the benefit will be far-reaching.
“We will add years back to the life expectancy of black men and add quality of life back to these years. Not only that, these men will be better fathers, husbands, and leaders within their communities and society as a whole.”
Lemonaid Health launches online treatment service
Lemonaid Health recently launched the first on-demand depression treatment service in the United States.
The service, which can be accessed nationally via website and mobile app, allows patients to access doctors via video, message or telephone.
In addition to its new mental health service, Lemonaid also provides support for people suffering with a wide range of physical ailments.
The company regularly outperforms traditional healthcare providers with the speed of its service, while follow-up support is also excellent. Patients are also able to now use online prescription services to purchase any medicines prescribed by their doctors, which allows them to seek treatment and legally acquire medication from the comfort and security of their own home.
Dr. Davis Liu, Chief Medical Officer of Lemonaid Health, said: “Our doctors prescribe recommended first-line treatments for depression and/or anxiety where the patient is appropriate for medication using our model.
“These include anti-depressants such as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
“We also support our patients in finding access to online therapy, in-person care and other support services.”
Livongo striving to keep workplaces healthier
Livongo Health has developed a tech-based business model it says can help to keep a company’s workforce healthier.
More than 147 million people in the US have at least one chronic medical condition, but the country’s healthcare system is not equipped to cope.
Livongo has developed a platform that uses technology and data-science to provide real-time personalized support to people.
The firm claims the system can reduce the insurance costs incurred by businesses through sickness and boost productivity as staff won’t need as much time off work.
The tech focuses on diabetes and blood pressure, providing users with reminders to take their medication or access to services where they can receive support for their conditions.
Glen E. Tullman, the founder and executive chairman of Livongo, says the system has the potential to make a huge impact on health in the workplace.
“We’re taking information from people’s bodies, we’re aggregating all that information,” he said. “It might be from our meters or from a watch, from their pharmacy, from their electronic health record. And then we’re putting it back to them in the form of digital insights and nudges.
“It is a subscription model, customers pay a monthly fee, but they only pay when people keep using it. We call it per participant per month, not per member per month.”
Money expert advocates financial self-care
Many people worry about their personal finances and this can have a significant impact on their overall health and wellbeing.
Money in many households in the US is tight, making it difficult for people to cover their monthly outgoings.
However, there are numerous tech-based tools such as banking apps and finance planners that allow people to manage their household finances more effectively.
Personal finance expert, Frank Conway, says that formulating a financial plan and sticking to it are crucial components of self-care.
“Knowing exactly what your spending habits are and setting financial goals are key to wellbeing in the financial area of our lives,” he said.
“Living within your means, increasing your financial knowledge by learning where the best savings deals are and sticking to the plan are all tasks crucial to taking care of yourself.”