Virtual Therapy

Afternoon! I’ve been really enjoying discovering and blogging about technological advances in health – so much so that I would really like to pursue an internship in this field, but I’ve only found ones in Southern California so far…. I’ll keep looking. (There is a masters degree in Digital Healthcare at Warwick which looks interesting though!) But anyway my point was going to be that I’ve been talking about these products to friends and family and they’ve told me about what they’ve heard about. This week my boyfriend heard on the radio a discussion about using virtual reality in therapy. He knew I’d be interested and repeated the gist of it to me and now I’ve gone off to investigate it.

As usual, I have a video to show you.

It’s hard to imagine the effects of PTSD on your everyday life but it sounds horrific to try and live with. Being able to deal with those real life events in a safe way is surely a brilliant way of combatting it (for some people at least). There’s scope to use this for suffers of abuse – sexual or physical.

A university in Auckland has developed a computer game to help depression in young people. Have a little look at this video:

Isn’t this great? Both of these videos show how we’re using technology in an innovative way to engage and help those individuals for whom traditional counselling just isn’t right for. As the people these techniques are targeted at have mostly grown up surrounded by digital technologies, many of them would identify more with using these virtual therapies than they may with discussing personal issues with a relative stranger.

Personally, I think I’d prefer talking to my counsellor than using a game version, but that’s because I’m not a big gamer and already feel I spend too long on the computer. I’m not really the target audience in that respect but I still think its a fantastic development.

Electronic Skin

I was having another little look at last weeks infographic and a little orange box labelled ‘wearable e-skins’ caught my eye. I googled it and the first page I landed on drew me in. As usual, I want to share a few videos with you about what Ive discovered today.

Video from Biz Buzz on Youtube. You can read the original article on Nature

There seems to be a lot of competing products being developed so it’s likely that electronic skin will become a reality in the not too distant future. But as the video suggested, commercial uses are being seen quicker than medical ones. – have a look at this video…

Video from VivaLnk

The concept of this is pretty damn cool, but personally I don’t find unlocking my phone warrants enough effort for this – although VivaLnk have just released some customisable versions which allow you to open different applications on your phone.

I do think however that the potential health benefits are amazing. VivaLnk are introducing e-skin thermometers this year which is defintely a step in te right direction. Here’s one more video from a guy who clearly shares my enthusiasm and explains what these brilliant tiny pieces of tech could be able to do for us in the future…

Video from FW: Thinking via Youtube

I just think this sounds incredible. As someone who takes a fair bit of medication everyday and is liable to headaches and pain the drug releasing patch sounds brilliant. As a granddaughter of a 90 year old who needs carers and has a family constantly worrying about her the benefits seem even more astounding – maybe a section could be inbuilt to send a text to designated numbers if something bad happens like a heart attack or a fall as well as issuing some form of pain relief?

If you want to read more about any of this theres a couple of great articles in the New Scientist and Nature.